Christmas dinner will be served to more than 70 isolated Inverclyde residents thanks to a project led by Morton’s charitable arm. The Ton community trust has teamed up with housing association River Clyde Homes, charity Compassionate Inverclyde and Amazon in Gourock for its fourth ‘festive friends’ event at Cappielow which will take place on Christmas Day, for the first time.

It is being held in collaboration with thoughtful Greenock mum Taylor Barnes, who has organised a free dinner for some of the most vulnerable locally in each of the last two years.

Morton will open Cappielow for guests to sit down, relax and enjoy a festive feast with company in the hospitality lounge. Around 70 people will be invited based on referrals from those involved in organising the event.

Brian McLaughlin, Chief Executive of Greenock Morton Community Trust, said: “We usually have our ‘festive friends’ dinner the week before Christmas, around the nineteenth. But this year we feel there’s a real opportunity to give people the chance to socialise with other people on Christmas Day itself. We’re delighted that Taylor is going to be part of it as well. There will be people there from our various Morton in the Community projects and our partner organisations will be identifying people who they think would benefit from it. “It’s more of an informal, social event giving people the chance to get together on Christmas Day.”

A key aim of the dinner is to tackle loneliness as well as supporting those who are struggling for a variety of different reasons.

Gillian Maxwell, community champion at Amazon Gourock, said: “Every one of us is part of the community and we’re delighted to be supporting it in this way.”

Volunteers will be needed to ensure the event runs smoothly and 15-20 staff from the respective organisations involved have already kindly offered their services on Christmas Day.

Alison Bunce, Compassionate Inverclyde programme le

Morton in the Community Christmas dinnerMorton in the Community Christmas dinnerader, said: “This is all about kindness and community spirit.”

As well as being treated to a delicious dinner, the small army of volunteers will be on hand to keep their star guests entertained to ensure they have an extra-special Christmas.

Heather Mitchell, Inclusive Communities Manager for RCH, said: “On behalf of all of the participating organisations, we’re proud to be supporting this event and to be working together for the benefit of Inverclyde.”

Any other businesses or individuals wishing to support ‘festive friends’ can find out more by emailing or phoning 731949.

Festive Friends is supported by the Scottish Professional Football League Trust.

Thanks to Paul John Coulter and George Munro from the Greenock Telegraph for the article and images.

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