LIKE so many organisations, coronavirus forced a rethink of what organisers of the Camelford Community Christmas Breakfast could do, and how it could be done safely this Christmas.
Unfortunately, the team didn’t feel they would be able to run their usual sit-down breakfast event on Christmas morning, so had to come up with an alternative.
“We knew back in the autumn that our usual sit-down event was going to be difficult to host safely – the health of our diners and volunteers had to be our first priority – and so we put our thinking-caps on to come up with a way to allow Camelford Community Christmas Breakfast to continue for our sixth year.
“We knew people wouldn’t be able to come for breakfast but we thought breakfast could go to them, and so ‘Brekky in a Bag’ was born.”
With the support of their communities, volunteers packed over 100 breakfasts which diners collected or had delivered on Christmas Eve. As well as everything needed for a full cooked breakfast, bags also included tea, coffee and juice, milk, cereal, fruit, cakes, and a chocolate Santa for each child.
Melanie continued: “I think it’s fair to say that the breakfast team – Claire Hewlett, Tristan Halliday and myself – have been blown away by the generosity of local businesses and residents; it’s been a tough year for so many, and money is tight. Yet despite this, once again everyone has been so incredibly generous – we had every item we needed pledged within 24 hours of asking for donations. We even had a company offer to make us beautiful bespoke gift tags which we used to decorate the bags, along with handmade Christmas tree decorations from Top Town Memory Cafe.
“The bags looked absolutely amazing when they went out, filled with so much delicious loveliness ready to be cooked on Christmas morning.”
As well as breakfast, each year the team aims to raise money for a local charity and this year they chose Camelford and Neighbours Community Larder.
Melanie said: “Camelford and Neighbours Community Larder are a local organisation who provide food bags and other essentials throughout the year to residents of Camelford, and as their name suggests, our neighbouring communities too. Originally run as an informal group based in the organisers’ front rooms, demand has grown significantly this year and so they’ve recently restructured into a more formal organisation, moved into larger premises at The Old Bank, and have recruited a small army of volunteers to help. The work they do is just incredible. In the two days before Christmas alone, they made and delivered a whopping 50 Christmas hampers to local residents, and along with their weekly food bags, helped to ensure 162 people had plenty to eat this Christmas.
“The team really are amazing, and the work they do is so, so important. But of course, they need funding and we were only too happy to help them raise money through voluntary donations into our cash bucket, or in a Covid-safe way via their JustGiving page.”
So what’s next for Camelford Community Christmas Breakfast? Melanie is certain they will continue.
She said: “While Coronavirus has made things more difficult this year and we were very disappointed not to see everyone on Christmas morning, we will always find a way to get Christmas breakfast to the residents of Camelford and our surrounding communities. We’re optimistic that Christmas 2021 will see us back to hosting our sit-down event, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming everyone again for fun, food and festivities!”