Community Christmas Meal

640. Charlene Novak (Huddersfield)

Charlene Novak has organised a Christmas meal in Huddersfield every year since 2010, ensuring hundreds of people, who would otherwise be lonely at Christmas, are given the chance to have a meal with others in their community.

Charlene Novak has organised a Christmas meal in Huddersfield every year since 2010, ensuring hundreds of people, who would otherwise be lonely at Christmas, are given the chance to have a meal with others in their community. Charlene’s team of volunteers provide transport and a free three course meal, as well putting on bingo, staging a nativity play and leading carol singing. Everyone receives a gift from Father Christmas and Charlene has pioneered a partnership with the local Ahmadiyya Muslim Association who give everyone a takeaway box of rice and meat as they leave.

In a personal letter to Charlene, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“When people don’t have anyone to spend the festive season with, Christmas can become a lonely and isolating day. The Christmas meal you organise brings the community together and ensures that everyone has somewhere warm and welcoming to be at this special time of year.”

Charlene said:

“I feel happy that the love poured into the Jubilee Centre Christmas Day Celebration, has been seen and recognised.  I’d love our town to be a place where there is no loneliness or poverty, and I believe this is completely possible!  The Christmas Day Meal is just one step in that direction, but I’ve seen how kindness, sparks more kindness in people’s hearts and with more of that, a town can be transformed.  The atmosphere on the day is fantastic, with volunteers from all walks of life, there because they have genuine love and compassion for others, at the end of the day everybody leaves feeling valued and loved! ”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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