Veterans in Crisis to deliver free dinners this Christmas

Kind-hearted volunteers from Veterans in Crisis will be hitting the road to deliver free dinners this Christmas.

Thursday, 16th December 2021, 12:00 am

For the third year running, the community interest company (CIC), which is based in Roker, will be giving out Christmas dinners to veterans and their family members who are lonely or in need.

In total they’ll be giving out 100 dinners and there’s still time to put your name down for a delivery.

Ger Fowler, a former soldier who set up the CIC to support ex-service men and women, said: “The first year we were able to provide 35 dinners, last year 75 and this year we’ve had enough donations to pay for 100 dinners.”

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VICS volunteers ahead of deliveries last Christmas

The donations pay for the ingredients for the meals, which are then plated up and delivered to veterans to be warmed up at home.

Ger said: “People think they have to be in crisis to use the service, but some people live by themselves and don’t want to make a dinner for just them.

"All the volunteers wear Santa hats and it’s a great atmosphere, it shows veterans and their families that people are thinking of them. It’s something that’s really needed, especially with the pandemic.”

Volunteer Tracey Robinson leads the project and this year The Ranch in Seaham have kindly donated their kitchen for the meals to be prepared.

Volunteer Tracey Robinson coordinates the meals

Volunteer drivers arrive at the ERV building in Roker Avenue, a military abbreviation for emergency rendezvous, at 10am on Christmas Day and are given delivery routes near their own homes so they can be done, and back for their own lunches, by noon.

Since it was founded in 2018, VICS has helped hundreds of veterans with a range of issues, ranging from housing to addiction problems.

The ERV, which opened in 2019, includes temporary accommodation for former servicemen and women if they have been referred by organisations such as the police or health services.

It also hosts arts classes and therapy sessions and more and has proved a lifeline for many.

Meals are delivered ready to be heated up

Any veterans or their families who would like to receive a Christmas dinner on Christmas day can contact VICs through its Facebook page or visit veteransincrisis.co.uk

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