‘This is about community spirit and what we can do for others’ – The true spirit of Christmas shines through efforts of Letchworth volunteers

Garden City Montessori School French language assistant Annabelle Cattin and head of school Sarah Cu

Garden City Montessori School French language assistant Annabelle Cattin and head of school Sarah Cummins with some of the donations for Christmas day. - Credit: Archant

For an example of the true spirit of Christmas, you need look no further than a group of Letchworth volunteers who are offering free festive food, gifts and vital supplies to the less fortunate on Christmas Day.

Some of the donations for Christmas day event at Garden City Montessori School.

Some of the donations for Christmas day event at Garden City Montessori School. - Credit: Archant

Garden City Montessori head Sarah Cummins is spearheading the initiative, which will see the school in Icknield Way opened to families and others who have nowhere else to go or cannot afford Christmas.

They will receive a traditional Christmas dinner and pudding, and Father Christmas will be on hand to give each child a present. Hampers containing food, toiletries and other essentials will also be given out.

“This is about community spirit and what we can do for others,” Sarah told the Comet.

“There’s so many people locally who are lonely or worse off, and if we could just pull together for something like this that could make a difference in our community, and that could start to spread.

Some of the donations for Christmas day event at Garden City Montessori School.

Some of the donations for Christmas day event at Garden City Montessori School. - Credit: Archant

“We’ve got children as young as two at the school, and they’ve gone home to talk about this with their parents, saying ‘can we donate this, can we donate that’. Two families have donated their time on the day.

“One dad is a pianist, and he’s going to do the music. My own four children will be there with me as well – that’s how we’re spending Christmas.

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“I’ve been overwhelemed with the donations we’ve had – they’ve been fantastic. It’s just wonderful.”

It’s the first time Sarah has done something like this here, but she’s done it before in America.

Garden City Montessori School French language assistant Annabelle Cattin and head of school Sarah Cu

Garden City Montessori School French language assistant Annabelle Cattin and head of school Sarah Cummins with some of the donations for Christmas day. - Credit: Archant

She said they already had a few people booked into come – but that for some families, pride seemed to be getting in the way.

“We’re emphasising this isn’t a charity thing, this is about bringing the community together,” she said.

“We can cater for about 40 or 50 people, and everyone will go home with a hamper with toiletries, long-life food, nappies, that kind of thing.

“If people could let us know what things they particularly need when they get in touch, that’d be great.”

Donations accepted include turkeys, hams, puddings, tea, coffee, tinned or dried food, nappies, baby wipes, toiletries, decorations, toys, books, colouring books and pens.

The fun starts at 12.30pm and goes on to 4pm – you’re welcome whatever your circumstance, but booking is essential.

If you’re interested in donating or coming along on the day, give Sarah a call on 01462 889271.

Sarah won the Parent in a Million category in this year’s Comet Community Awards after being nominated by daughters Eloise and Abigail.

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