A Dundee church has vowed to stay open on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to make sure those most in need are supported.
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Dundee West Church’s Making Dundee Home project has been providing a weekly bag of food to 120 people battling with addiction, poor mental health or who are reliant on benefits.
Vow to keep food project open
Every Wednesday and Friday from 10am until 12.30pm the church hall opens up, and staff and volunteers have agreed that Christmas Day and New Year’s Day this year will be no exception.
Gordon Sharp, community development worker at Dundee West Church, said: “Prior to coronavirus we had lunches every Friday and gave out food every Wednesday, but the pandemic knocked that on the head.
“We would all eat round a table, there could be up to 50 people and it was great.
“But food is really needed and hospitality is a way of engaging with each other so we have continued the service with food bags.
“People can come along and chose what they need from the kitchen at a social distance – it gets them out of the cold and gives them time for a chat.
“The kitchen is all set up like a shop and we usually have fresh food and bread as well as tins.
“A lot of it comes from donations but we also spend money we have fundraised too.
“This is all about making sure people are not isolated and this gives them structure and a chance to chat to try and address loneliness.
“It is more about relationships than food, that is what matters to us.
“On Christmas Day it will be the same idea, but we will also have gift bags and we are gathering toiletries and socks so we can give folk a present.
“We are also wanting to buy meals for people to take away with them so they can feel a bit Christmassy.
“We have been open on Christmas Day for a few years now but this is our first Covid Christmas – and I hope it will be the last.
“But we are all looking forward to it – some folk will be fine and they have a family, but a lot of folk don’t.”
On top of this, Making Dundee Home has also been running a DVD borrowing service during lockdown as well.
Gordon added: “Not everyone has a DVD player at home but a lot of them do and they don’t watch Netflix or anything like that.
“The DVD service has been a God send for folk because they were just watching the same DVDs all the time which is not great.
“We have gone through so many DVDs and had some donated in which is brilliant, it is such a simple thing.”
Making Dundee Home runs out of Dundee West Church on Perth Road every Wednesday and Friday from 10am until 12.30pm.