Sammy Leighton, 34, said: “I realised a lot of people had been affected by coronavirus and most of them were 50+ and living on their own.
“Their social life has been taken away and a lot don’t have workplaces. Even their doctors have gone online. Everything has changed for them. Nothing is the same.
“I saw an elderly gentleman buying just a few bits in a shop and he didn't have the money to pay for them.
“I just wanted to do something to give them a bit of cheer. I thought if we can deliver that with a Christmas afternoon tea, then why not?”
Sammy, who lives on Seamer Road, put the idea to Kimmie Avison at Gallows Close Centre and the ‘Let's leave no-one behind at Christmas’ initiative was born on Facebook.
A number of hubs have sprung up across Scarborough in support of the idea, and those who would like to donate or wish to receive a Christmas Afternoon tea are asked to contact one of those hubs by Friday, December 18.
Sammy said “We wanted to do a hot lunch for everybody but were bound by insurance, so decided to do the afternoon tea instead.”
“I believe that in total there will be 500 + parcels delivered. The original idea was to get the community to help the community rather than relying on businesses, and a lot of people donated.”
“Businesses have also been really good, Morrisons, Tescos and Sainsbury's have all donated items for their areas of town.
“Florios have donated the Turkey and the boxes to put the teas in, Cooplands have donated lots of bread buns and Scarborough Hall Care Home has donated mince pies and bath bombs.”
“We started to put packages together on Monday, packets of biscuits and stuff like that, it was never about donations, just about the little things really.
“We’ve had lots of cards and crafts from schools, nursery schools and childminders.
“We’ve had a request for delivery to the chemotherapy unit at Scarborough and anything left over will be given to nursing homes so the residents can have something.
“To be honest I thought there would only be a few but in the first 48 hours it went crazy and the Facebook group gained over 700 followers.
“I'm just really pleased to be here. If anyone needs to refer anyone, please get in touch with Gallows, Westway or the Tap and Spile by Friday December 18.”
Kimmie Avison at Gallows Close Centre said: “We’re currently putting together 74 Christmas Eve parcels, although there may be more as nominations don’t close until Friday.
“We also have 70 christmas gifts to hand out to children and 25 to give to our Steps To group which supports adults with additional needs.
“We’re also supplying 18 Christmas Dinner hampers with help from Tescos.”
Gallows Close Centre will close on Christmas Eve for a well deserved break and reopens on January 6.
Contact details for the ‘Let's leave no-one behind this Christmas’ initiative are as follows:
Barrowcliff, Northstead, Newlands, Newby community support is being coordinated by Gallows Close Centre call 01723 378 102 or email [email protected]
Falsgrave Community Support, contact Heidi Yorke on 07767 404 931or email: [email protected]
Seamer and Crossgates Community Support working with the Byways: contact Charlie Ford. Email: [email protected]
Eastfield Community Support - Samantha Taylor - 01723 658 073 [email protected] or call Westway Open Arms on 01723 448 274.