'Operation Shortbread' delivers 50 Christmas parcels to Northampton's most isolated residents

'Operation Shortbread' helps deliver isolated, housebound members a box of biscuits at Christmas.
'Operation Shortbread' helps deliver isolated, housebound members a box of biscuits at Christmas.

A volunteer scheme in Northampton has today delivered 50 boxes filled with food and drink to Northampton's housebound pensioners to give them a treat for December.

Live at Home Northampton - part of the national charity MHA's Live at Home - was founded 17 years ago at Park Avenue Methodist Church in Abington and is ran solely by 65 hard-working volunteers.

Around 50 parcels were sent out as part of the operation today.

Around 50 parcels were sent out as part of the operation today.

Three years ago the group launched 'Operation Shortbread' at Christmas time in Northampton so their isolated, housebound members could each receive a box of biscuits.

But after identifying a larger need across the county the group now packs up 50 boxes filled with goods, which include biscuits, coffee, and soup to make sure a recipient has something warm to eat or drink in the winter.

Former nurse and now vice chair of Live at Home Northampton Audrey Weir started volunteering 11 years ago, just six months after her husband passed away.

She said: "[Operation Shortbread] started three years ago and I identified a need that there were people at home that could not come to the venue or anything we offered - so I came up with the ideas of delivering some shortbread to those at home and have a chat.

Operation Shortbread has partly been paid for by public donations, money from two borough councillorsempowerment funds and Northampton Round Table.

Operation Shortbread has partly been paid for by public donations, money from two borough councillorsempowerment funds and Northampton Round Table.

"50 priority boxes are going out to people who are housebound and then we will be giving 120 Christmas presents to active members.

"They are generally very surprised and pleased."

Today (Friday) five delivery drivers are each delivering 10 boxes to the more isolated members of the community and will stay with them for a cup of tea and a chat.

Operation Shortbread has partly been paid for by public donations, money from two borough councillors empowerment funds and Northampton Round Table.

The £15-a-year scheme also offers its members a befriending telephone service, lunch clubs twice a week, regular keep fit classes and outings to popular landmarks.