VIPs to join Colchester Mayor at lunch event to honour dedicated volunteers

Some of the Borough’s most dedicated volunteers will be recognised at a special lunch to be hosted by Colchester Mayor, Cllr Gerard Oxford, on 22nd February.

The event at Colchester Town Hall will see the Mayor entertain around 125 guests who have devoted their time, passion and service volunteering on behalf of a range of charities and worthy causes.

Mayor Oxford, who is supporting a number of charities during his mayoral year, said: “Without the hard work and dedication of volunteers, a lot of charity work could not be done.

“I think it’s really important that we recognise and celebrate their achievements. An enormous ‘thank you’ to everyone who has donated to the lunch. Without their support, we wouldn’t have been able to hold this event.”

The guests have been nominated by local charities and community groups including Signpost, H4H, Refugee Action, Essex Integration, Samaritans, St Helena Hospice, Headway, Samaritans, Barnardo’s and Women’s Refuge.

VIPs will join the Mayor and Mayoress as ‘hosts’ on each of the volunteer’s tables, including the Bishop of Colchester The Right Reverend Roger Morris, the High Steward of Colchester Sir Bob Russell, the High Sheriff of Essex Simon Hall MBE, Garrison Sergeant Major William Biggar and Chief Inspector Shaun Kane.

The lunch has been made possible thanks to the generous support of local businesses — with Milsoms of Dedham and their suppliers donating the starters and mains, and desserts provided by Tiptree Patisserie.

Supermarket giant Tesco is donating red wine for the lunch, while the High Sheriff of Essex, Simon Hall MBE, has donated 50 bottles of champagne for guests to enjoy on their arrival at the Moot Hall.

A £500 contribution from Colne Housing towards the cost of waiting staff, and £2,600 from British Land to cover the cost of waiting staff and glass hire have also been pledged, along with the design and printing of a seating plan by AlphaPrint, various raffle prizes and the talents of a pianist.