Southwark pensioners being fed free pie ‘n’ mash this Christmas – but your help is needed

Josh Salisbury (17 December, 2020)

Volunteers are desperately needed to pack and deliver the meals to Southwark residents on Christmas Eve

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A team of Southwark organisations are feeding 1,000 vulnerable elderly people traditional pie ‘n’ mash this Christmas.

Bermondsey Pie and Mash Co, M. Manze’s pie shop on Tower Bridge Road, the CWU union, Millwall Community Trust, and this paper are all working together to feed the over-65 – even giving them a festive mince pie to enjoy, too.

But your help is needed – as volunteers are desperately needed to pack and deliver the meals to Southwark residents on Christmas Eve.

Steve Beadle and Barry Nelson, of the CWU union, approached Millwall Community Trust and Bermondsey Pie ‘n’ Mash about the idea after the success of Marcus Rashford’s campaign to give school children free meals during the school holidays.

Members of the union in south London, which represents communications workers, have donated towards the cost of giving out the free meals which will be cooked by Manze’s.

One of those taking part, Tammy Jukes, from Bermondsey Pie ‘n’ Mash,enlistd the help of the News in her role as Advertising Manager. She said: “We were happy to get involved because a lot of our customers are elderly and we would like to give something back to them this year, when needed most.”

Mark Bond, operations director at Manze’s, told the News the business felt the need to get involved because it is “part of the furniture” in Bermondsey.

“We are so happy to support this wonderful cause,” he said.

Postal workers from the CWU say they have seen first-hand the effects of an increase in poverty during the pandemic.

“This year has been especially difficult with Covid-19 lockdown which has left some of our elderly extremely lonely and vulnerable,” said the union’s Mr Beadle.

“It is for these reasons the local postie and their union are very happy to be involved.”

Meanwhile, Millwall Community Trust told the News it was happy to join the drive, because normally staff would be volunteering to support Crisis UK.

This year, that has not been able to go ahead.

“Unfortunately, due to the pandemic we were informed that that would not be possible this year so feeding vulnerable elderly people this Christmas was something we were very keen to support,” said the Trust’s Community Development Manager, Richard White.

If you know of any Southwark elderly person who would benefit from the free meal, or would like to volunteer your time to help give them out, contact Tammy Jukes at Southwark News at: tammy@southwarknews.co.uk or call 07769 327 683.

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