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MP visits Melksham Free Dining

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MELKSHAM Free Dining hosted an Easter celebration last month, and local MP Michelle Donelan was in attendance to meet the diners and judge the Easter Bonnet competition. 

“I was delighted to be invited to lunch last week,” said the MP, “I spent over an hour walking between tables and meeting the diners. It was a very difficult decision to judge the Easter bonnet competition as I was so impressed with the effort everyone had gone to in order to decorate their hats. 

“Initiatives like this are crucial to fight loneliness and prevent isolation, so many residents told me just how much the Melksham Free Dining has changed their lives and helped them develop friendships, which is much needed since the pandemic. I can really vouch for the warm and friendly atmosphere Deedee and Louisa have created; they are to be truly commended.”

Melksham Free Dining is a non-profit, charitable organisation established specifically to encourage people to come and enjoy being together after Covid lockdowns, in a safe environment. They meet every Wednesday at Bowerhill Village Hall.  

A spokesperson for the MP continues, “The warm and friendly atmosphere is fantastic with last week’s Easter celebrations being just one of the ways over the year that organisers Deedee Macleod and Louisa Lewis help to welcome visitors. 

“The organisation has been extremely successful in reaching out to those who feel isolated and vulnerable and it is heart-warming to meet regular diners who credit the lunch meeting with giving them back their self-confidence and providing a friendship group.  

“Melksham Free Dining offers everyone a two-course lunch, free of charge with the option to stay after the meal and join in the social activities. Organisers have harnessed their experience of supporting the Melksham community during the Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions having seen the devastating effects Covid has had on all our communities, so this charitable organisation was set up specifically to bring people together in a safe environment.  

“For the lunch to be provided free is a key part of this project; the organisers want everyone to come and enjoy their time and social opportunity without having to think about the cost but as with all things, there is a cost to providing the food.  

“If you or anyone you know would like to support this fabulous community effort with their moderate running costs or you have a business looking for sponsorship opportunities, please contact Michelle Donelan at michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk who would be very happy to facilitate a discussion with the organisers.” 

Picture: Melksham Free Dining’s Louisa Lewis and Deedee Macleod with local MP Michelle Donelan (centre). 

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