A bingo club in Hillingdon has launched it’s Christmas appeal to collect donations for hampers to distribute to elderly people and food bank users.

Mecca Hayes bingo club is asking the local community to donate food and drink that will remain fresh throughout the Christmas period, specifically canned or packaged goods, as well as unopened toiletries and monetary contributions. 

The Everyone Deserves a Christmas appeal will compile donations and make Christmas hampers.

These will be filled with festive goods from the donations, or supermarket vouchers.

The hampers will be distributed to people supported by the Hillingdon food bank and Age UK Hillingdon, Harrow and Brent (Age UK HHB). 

This year the number of people reliant on the food bank has increased, yet supplies of food have decreased meaning that they have had to use their reserves.

Hillingdon foodbank manager Vine Daniels said: “There’s going to be a greater demand during Christmas, because it’s the festive period and parents want to treat their children and if they have nothing then it’s going to be miserable for them.

“So if we get hampers they will go a long way to help a lot of people.” 

Daniels added that many families who receive hampers burst into tears when they turn up at their door because it means so much to them. 

It’s also been a difficult year for elderly people, many of whom have been indoors since March. 

Age UK Hillingdon, Harrow and Brent chief executive officer Julian Lloyd said: “We are seeing people who are isolated, people who are lonely, people who have effectively been housebound since March.

“I think Christmas is going to be really tough; this year there will be more people who are on their own.”

For a lot of elderly people who live alone, while the food is important, they are especially touched that other people are thinking about them when they receive their hamper. 

Lloyd said: “We give out hampers every year to those people who are going to be on their own and we do know that it makes a huge difference and we will ensure there’s a personal card in there as well.” 

Each of the 76 Mecca Bingo clubs across the UK are supporting a local registered charity, with a target to provide at least 50 hampers valued at £50 each which will be distributed to local families through the charity.

Mecca Hayes manager Tim Perry said: “We’re delighted to be launching Mecca’s Everyone Deserves a Christmas campaign and to be bringing a little festive cheer to those most in need. 

“We have put a few posts on Facebook and the response has been great. People are phoning the clubs and asking what they can do to help and local businesses are trying to get the word out there. 

“The more people who know about it the more people we can help.”

During this year, bingo clubs across the country have been helping those in their communities. 

The clubs have prepared and delivered over 50,000 meals to local communities, emergency workers, care homes and charities. 

You can donate online here or you can donate to the appeal at the Mecca Hayes Bingo club 466-468, Uxbridge Rd, Hayes UB4 0SD.

You can find out more information on their Facebook page