A Deptford charity is working to bring Christmas cheer to pensioners on December 8. On this ‘parcel day’, the group will make around 100 food parcels at the Lower Sydenham social club in Laurel Grove, and deliver them to elderly locals.
The organisation has been running for the past 55 years, overcoming funding shortages even in times of recession.The George Boys and Girls of Deptford was originally set up by five members of the community in 1956. Through the last six decades, the number of members fluctuated from as many as 30 to the current seven members.
“The money for buying and making the parcels is raised through various pubs in south east London, and by a ‘charity walk or raffle’ we have every August,” says Paul Harley, 49, treasurer of the charity.
“We usually raise about £1500 every year. This year, we were worried about the recession and how much we would be able to raise.”
Harley, whose day job is as director of a carpet company, added that they lost charitable sources when several fund-raising pubs in Deptford shut down. “There’s still the Foresters bar that have been very generous to us.”
The group orders their food from Sainsbury’s in Bell Green, which offers free home delivery, but no discounts.
“Everything is voluntary with us; we decided to do this for old age pensioners because the council has never been good to OAPs. We try to put on a show for them, and be entertainers during Christmas time.”