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Christmas cheer delivered to Inverness Foodstuff which provides lifeline meals by Cairngorm Windows and The Florians amateur dramatics company


By Val Sweeney


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Alan Holling, president of the Florians, Pam Urquhart Inverness Foodstuff operations manager and Bob Glover, trustee of Inverness Foodstuff.
Alan Holling, president of the Florians, Pam Urquhart Inverness Foodstuff operations manager and Bob Glover, trustee of Inverness Foodstuff.

Festive cheer has been delivered to an Inverness community project providing lifeline meals for homeless or financially disadvantaged people thanks to a city firm and an amateur dramatics company.

Inverness Foodstuff’s drop-in centre at Ness Bank Church is hosting Christmas lunches with all the trimmings thanks to a £500 donation by Cairngorm Windows.

The Florians, meanwhile, have handed over £850 thanks to the generosity of its patrons.

The donation from Cairngorm was part of the firm’s £6000 donation to Highland Third Sector Interface (TSI) to help 12 voluntary groups which applied to the Project Christmas scheme.

Pam Urquhart, Inverness Foodstuff operations manager, said it has been a busy run-up to Christmas with lunches offered to 50 people a day every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in the church hall.

“The £20 a week cut to Universal Credit has hit some people hard and as well as feeding them, we’re able to refer them to the food bank,” she said.

“We normally use surplus food donated by supermarkets – but the Cairngorm cash enables us to buy turkeys, crackers and presents for our clients so they can enjoy proper festive fare.

“We’re hugely grateful to Cairngorm for showing compassion in this way.”

Inverness Foodstuff operations manager Pam Urquhart with volunteers Mary McLaren and Graham Mathieson.
Inverness Foodstuff operations manager Pam Urquhart with volunteers Mary McLaren and Graham Mathieson.

She said the “amazing” team of volunteers went the extra mile to make this time of year a bit special.

Ms Urquhart added: “We’re providing help, meals and company for those who, in various forms, face day-to-day challenges.

“Anyone is welcome and being accepted and heard helps their wellbeing and sense of self-worth.”

The project also acts as a hub for people to access services and support, liaising with Highland Council benefits and housing teams, NHS health improvement nurses, a dental team and nurse practitioner for the homeless.

A local hairdresser can also be called upon and skills tuition can be provided to create job opportunities.

Chris Dowling, joint managing director of the Cairngorm Group, said it was exactly the activity they wanted to help when Project Christmas was launched, adding: “The work done by Inverness Foodstuff is invaluable.

“By creating their environment of friendship, food and support, they create the potential for positive change.

“We’re delighted to be able to ensure these people in need of assistance can have the kind of festive turkey meal that most of us take for granted.”

Alan Holling, president of the Florians, said: “The multi-faceted work done by Inverness Foodstuff was brought to our attention by a member of the club who is also a member of Ness Bank Church and the Florians unanimously decided to support this local charity because of its important work to assist the local community in this time of need.”

Pictures: Growing spaces with Incredible Edible Inverness and Inverness Foodstuff


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