Sr Christine, fcJ is the manager of Neighbours in Poplar, an East- London multi-faith community centre: “We provide practical support and care for vulnerable people who are living at home, regardless of their faith, age, race, gender, culture, or disability. We also provide disadvantaged children with breaks from their normal environment during the summer holidays.”
One of the annual projects of Neighbors in Poplar is the delivery of hundreds of free, freshly cooked meals to isolated residents on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. On Christmas morning, when many are unwrapping their presents, volunteers will arrive at Neighbours in Poplar to prepare and cook lunch, which will be delivered by an army of volunteer drivers. Sr Christine said: We ask local people to let us know if someone living near them is vulnerable and likely to spend Christmas at home alone. Last year, we delivered more than 400 meals over the three bank holidays. Some of our volunteers have helped out year after year and some turn up with their families. We keep an eye out for anyone who may be vulnerable or isolated and we continue to check on them throughout the festive season.
Sisters Anouska and Katherine Mary, from the Poplar fcJ community, spent part of their Christmas day helping at the delivery of about 170 Christmas lunches across the Tower Hamlets borough.
There were dozens of volunteers, young, old of all faiths and of none. It was a real image of the gift of Christmas and an inspiration to be part of.