Alongside a key number of partners across the city, Derby County Football Club and Community Trust are doing their bit to provide ‘Christmas Cheer’ over the festive season.

Usual celebrations may be on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Derby City Council’s Neighbourhood Team has recruited a range of partners and sponsors to ensure Derby’s residents who live alone get a festive meal to enjoy.

Participants on Derby County Community Trust’s Tackling Loneliness Together project will also be catered for and the Derby Food 4 Thought Alliance will identify recipients and continue to provide food parcels for the festive season in partnership with the Pride Park food donation hub.

Derby County, as part of the club’s ‘Stay Safe. Stay Fit. Stay Connected.’ project, have committed to preparing and cooking a three-course meal at Pride Park Stadium for up to up to 1,000 local residents on Monday 14th, Thursday 17th and Friday 18th December.

All available Community Trust staff will then be ensuring these meals get to those who need them in a timely manner along with help from the Derbyshire Constabulary and Fire Service.

Meals are also being prepared by Derby College and local pubs Steaming Billy (Alvaston) and The Oaklands (Blagreaves) on the two other days of that week.

Sharon Sewell, who is heading up the scheme from Derby City Council, said “People have wanted to help. Times are so difficult at the moment, it’s just a lovely thing to get involved in”.

As part of the festivities, recipients will also get access to Christmas entertainment and a small gift hamper and card thanks to many supporting organisations.

Deliveries to different parts of the city are planned on each day of the week meaning that all city residents are able to access the support.

Referrals to the scheme are open until Friday 4th December through a partner organisation. If you know somebody who is lonely, isolated or restricted to their home this Christmas, please get in touch with the Community Trust at [email protected] so a referral can be made on your behalf.