MORE than 100 members and clients of the Luton Irish Forum (LIF) were treated to a festive dinner last month thanks to funding from the Irish Government and supporters of the charity.
As the LIF couldn’t host its usual Christmas party, where a couple of hundred members would come together at The Celtic Club, they put on socially distanced Christmas dinners, for limited numbers, at their Hitchin Road centre instead.
The dinners were offered on-site each day over the course of a week in December, while dozens more meals were delivered to their clients, explained Mary Winter, LIF Trustee and Clubs Volunteer, who organised the festivities.
“Because we were able to create a Covid-safe environment, many of our clubs reopened in September and October but we had to close again during the November lockdown,” Ms Winter explained.
“Members told us how much happier and better they felt in themselves for being able to come in to LIF, so we were delighted to welcome them back for a traditional Christmas dinner.
“Other members and clients from our welfare advice service also came into LIF centre for Christmas dinner or a two-course meal was delivered to their door,” she added.
As well as enjoying a socially distanced dinner and pudding, which was cooked and served by Jack Berr Catering, LIF’s guests also got to see old friends, play a game of bingo and take part in a raffle just days before the country went into full lockdown once again.
One of their clients, who enjoyed the festivities at the centre, said: “I was so happy at the thought of this that I had my hair done.
“I haven’t had an excuse to get dressed up for months.”
She added: “It’s more depressing this lockdown, there is nothing to do, in the garden nothing is growing.
“It’s lonelier now, especially at this time of year, not going out and seeing my family and friends.”
Since the new national lockdown began in January the LIF has closed its doors once more, but continues to offers services remotely, with many of its regular classes and groups continuing via Zoom.
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