07 December 2017

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Senior citizens from nearby towns and villages came to Royal Air Force Wittering yesterday for some seasonal cheer and a traditional Christmas lunch.

The senior citizens’ Christmas lunch is a regular feature in the calendar of many RAF stations. Flying Officer Alexandra Close is the project officer for this year’s Christmas lunch. Alexandra is a logistics officer and oversees Royal Air Force Wittering’s catering, retail and leisure activities.

Flying Officer Close and one of the guests

She said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for the elderly, particularly if they are lonely or vulnerable. So we wrote to the parish councils and veterans’ organisations to see if they could find senior citizens who would benefit from some good food and company.”

Over sixty senior citizens arrived at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess and made their way to the dining hall. As always, RAF Wittering’s chefs prepared some beautiful turkey dinners complete with all the trimmings.

The servery

In charge of preparations was Sergeant Gareth Williams. It’s no small feat, cooking a perfectly turned out Christmas lunch for that number of diners but Sergeant Williams and his team were bang on time.

He said: “Making Christmas lunch for so many people means the kitchen is busy, but it’s what we do best and we have experienced and talented chefs at RAF Wittering. What makes it special for us is that it’s such a good cause.”

An RAF Wittering chef ladles gravy onto freshly plated dinners

Just before lunch the guests were treated to some tuneful signing from the children of Wittering Primary School. Conducted by Year 6 teachers, Corrina Selby and Emma Cresswell, the children sang with visible enthusiasm, starting the afternoon off with a festive atmosphere.

The choir from Wittering Primary School

Fun and games followed lunch with bingo and a raffle with prizes donated by Station personnel. Coffee and mince pies were the final treat for the senior citizens before the afternoon was brought to a well-fed and satisfying close.

Wing Commander Mike Ainsworth and Squadron Leader Steve Micklewright help one of the guests with the bingo

Wing Commander Mike Ainsworth was acting Station Commander on Wednesday. He said: “You can tell straight away, just by looking, that we’ve done some good this afternoon. Some of the Senior Citizens have lived around the Station for years and have supported us all that time – so it’s right we say thank you.”

The Wing Commander continued: “For some of the people here today, Christmas might be difficult. If we’ve been able to help and give them some comfort and good food, it’s been well worth the effort.”

Editor: Ed Palmer

Photographer: Cpl Paul Robertshaw

RAF/MOD Crown Copyright 2017

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