One of the highlights of the Portreeve's year!
Today I enjoyed a lively and entertaining Christmas lunch with over 40 Ashburton Pensioners, Master Bailiff Karen Turner, the Mayor Jenny Giles, Deputy Mayor Philip Vogel and my wife - who has the dubious honour of being married to the latest in a long line of Portreeves. She's been very good about it!
The Ashburton Pensioners Christmas Lunch has long been a highlight of the Portreeve's year - it's usually their first official engagement for a start, but the Portreeve also becomes the President of the Ashburton Pensioners. They also know how to organise a great lunch - they have been doing it for a very long time having celebrated their 75th anniversary during lockdown. Apart from the lovely meal (thanks go to the Dartmoor Lodge), the pensioners are a lively group that have made me feel very welcome on both occasions I've had lunch with them (first time as Master Bailiff).
The pensioners also have the largest raffle of any of the events I've been to - everyone brings at least one prize, and it's the Portreeve's job to pick the winning tickets.
Thankfully I had lots of help giving out the prizes otherwise it would have taken hours!
I spent some time talking to one pensioner who explained how he has a rule that no one in his family must spend more than £10 on a Christmas present - he has everything he needs and he would rather see money going to those that don't. He and his wife also give away their £200 winter fuel allowance each year.
Giving what we can, can make the world of difference to others...
It's clear that we live in a very caring community - and this story is a great example of how a little goes a long way - by giving what we can, or what we don't need we can make the world of difference to others in our community or further afield. But it's not always clear who needs that support - so I'm taking the opportunity whenever I can to ask others who they would support, and who they know of that needs support. I had some lovely suggestions from the pensioners - keep an eye on this site or sign up for the Portreeve's News to find out who we will be supporting and progress on fundraising.