A TEAM eager to share the Christmas spirit with members of the community has helped deliver provisions to older residents.

A Christmas tradition of providing gifts of provisions for older residents of Andover and surrounding villages has been continued in 2018 thanks to Stannah, Andover Rotary and Andover Charities Trustees and the hard work of Valerie Partridge and volunteers at Age Concern Hampshire.

The goodie bags, with contents from Waitrose in Andover, included essentials, traditional Christmas fayre, treats and Stannah’s StannahTalk magazine.

Volunteers Rachel Johnson, Victoria Sobranski and Pauline Read from Stannah took time out of their working week to help with the packing of the gifts, together with Age Concern volunteers. The following day six different Stannah volunteers – Sophie Galpin, Maria Renou, Russell Bedford, Samuel Gallacher, Shannon Winslow and Joyce Gilbert - personally delivered the parcels to their beneficiaries.

Russell Bedford, one of the Stannah volunteers, said: “This is my second time delivering and I can honestly say it is the most heartwarming and rewarding experience. I had a lady crying with happiness and another giving me a big hug. Amazingly we received a call at our head office saying thank you before we had completed our deliveries!

"This wonderful scheme brings a little extra sparkle to what can sometimes be a lonely and quiet Christmas for these people and I’m proud the have been part of it once again.”

Helen Callen, chief executive officer of Age Concern Hampshire, said: “What a lovely initiative our Andover office has established over the years.

“We are delighted that the tradition continues and most grateful to the sponsors for their continued support.”

Both sponsors and volunteers have been supporting this community initiative for more than a decade.

Jon Stannah, Stannah Group managing director, added: “We are delighted that the Christmas parcels project is continuing in our community. Our staff who volunteer really do enjoy taking part and particularly enjoy meeting some of the recipients of the goodie bags who are always delighted to be remembered at Christmas.

"Everyone at Stannah would like to extend their best wishes to them all.”