There might be a little over five weeks to go until Christmas, but preparations are already under way for this year’s annual community lunch.
The free event is held at the All Seasons on December 25 and encourages people who might be alone, feel excluded, or are facing financial difficulties over the Christmas period to come together to enjoy Christmas lunch.
City of Greater Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke said Christmas Day could be a stressful time for some people, especially those who did not have family or friends to share the day with.
“Not everyone has the opportunity to be with family at Christmas time so we think this [event] is a way for people to come together and celebrate,” she said.
Volunteers will be on hand to help spread Christmas cheer on the day and registrations for the event are now open.
About 300 people attend annually, but people must register before December 8.
Cr O’Rourke, who will be attending this year’s lunch, encouraged others to come along.
“Don’t think about it, just put your name down because the feedback from people who have attended in past years has been really positive,” she said.
“You get a fantastic meal, but it’s the company that’s really enjoyable as well.”
The event, now in its fourth year, was the initiative of All Seasons owners Tom and Jeanine Hedley.
“We’re very proud to be able to do this for the people of Bendigo and thank our suppliers who work with us to make this possible,” Ms Hedley said.
“It’s always a lovely atmosphere on the day – our guests will enjoy some great community hospitality.”
Cr O’Rourke said it took a lot of people to pull the event together and thanked the All Seasons for its continued support.
“Without them providing all that they do, this probably wouldn’t happen,” she said.
“The city are very happy to be involved because we think it’s an important part of what makes a liveable community that we support everyone even in the tough times.”
The City of Greater Bendigo Community Christmas Lunch will be held at The Conservatory at the All Seasons on McIvor Road, on Christmas Day from 12pm to 2pm.
Registrations are essential and need to be made before Friday, December 8, by phoning 5434 6000.