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Derby businesses join forces to help spread Christmas cheer across the city

Derby businesses join forces to help spread Christmas cheer across the city

A group of businessmen from a host of leading Derby firms gave up their time to spread some Christmas cheer when they sponsored a huge campaign to deliver food and hampers to hundreds of lonely and vulnerable pensioners living across the city.

Jonny McPhee, managing director of Invictus Communications, David Torrington, managing director of Sky Recruitment, Scott Harrhy, managing director of Century Mobile, Dean Jackson, founder of Huub Design, and Max Poynton, director of operations at Project D, joined volunteers for the roll-out of the city-wide Christmas Cheer project on Tuesday.

The project has been co-ordinated by Derby City Council’s Neighbourhood Team, led by Sharon Sewell and Sarah Dosunmu and supported by local Councillor Baggy Shanker as well as a host of organisations and companies, from Derby County to Derby College, supermarkets to pubs, who have donated money and items such as hot meals, flowers, boxes of chocolates and biscuits.

Each person also received a handmade Christmas card and was invited to go online to enjoy some festive entertainment.

Jonny and Scott have supported the event for a number of years, although it usually involves preparing and serving meals to up to 70 pensioners at Sinfin Moor Church.

Coronavirus social distancing rules meant that they could not organise a similar event this year, so the organisers took things up a few notches by drawing up a list of more than 800 people across the city and then making up hampers and freshly preparing the meals at Derby County’s Pride Park before handing them over to volunteers to deliver by hand.

Jonny said:

“We really enjoy giving something back and the lunch event is normally really good fun, but because of Covid it couldn’t be done this year.

“For it to be replaced by something on this scale is amazing and shows the generosity of the people and companies of Derby, who have really pulled together to make sure nobody misses out.

“It’s much bigger than I expected and it will make sure that more people will have a nice warm meal and some treats to enjoy in the run-up to Christmas.”

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