The essential journalist news source
Puddings, pies and crackers for Christmas
12 December 2022
Puddings, pies and crackers for Christmas 

Co-operative colleagues are going crackers at Hampshire funeralcare branches with thousands of puddings, pies, crackers and trees donated across the south.

Schools, community groups and voluntary associations are all benefitting from the donations from The Co-operative Funeralcare branches and Southern Co-op.

Donations have included 2,000 crackers to Community First and Fareham Connect, Court Lane School, Beacon View Primary Academy, St Pauls Catholic School, Victory Primary School and Park Community School’s MUNCH project. 

More than 1,000 mince pies are being donated to Candles at Christmas at Farlington Church, for Festive Bags for service users at the Society of St James, for the Lake of Lights and Christ Church in Widley, and The Church of Resurrection, Portsmouth. 

These have come from The Co-operative Funeralcare branches and colleagues in Cosham, Paulsgrove, Fratton, Widley and Fareham, and Southern Co-op’s head office in Lakeside.

A further £570 has been donated to Gosport Voluntary Action for hampers for 100 local people.

Claire McGinty, Client Experience & Aftercare Manager at Southern Co-op, said: “Our colleagues have also donated nine Christmas trees to help light up various corners of the south.

“Each donation might seem trivial but they contribute to a wider picture which helps individuals and families across our communities – whether that is an excuse for people to come together, or a warm meal with an added piece of festive fun.

“It is a real pleasure to be able to spread some joy at this time of year and help in whatever way we can.”

Being part of Southern Co-op, the funeralcare colleagues have also been joined in making festive donations by their retail counterparts. 

Stores across West Hampshire have been taking part in Wave 105’s Mission Christmas with collection points in store and £1,000 worth of gifts donated for children to open on Christmas day. 

The Co-operative Food stores involved are in Southampton, Romsey, North Baddersley, Lyndhurst, Lee on Solent, Chandlers Ford, Fareham, Titchfield, Bishop’s Waltham, Wickham, Boyatt Wood, Whiteley, Colden Common and Eastleigh.

Outside of Hampshire, donations have also been made in Burgess Hill at the Junction Road store with 260 Christmas puddings donated to Burgess Hill Town Council’s Christmas Hampers Project.

And over on the Isle of Wight, 400 mince pies were baked at The Co-operative Food store in Ryde and donated to Mountbatten Hospice’s Lite Up A Life service.

A further £2,500 has also been donated to the Royal Voluntary Service to pay for meals for 500 people at its lunch clubs.

To find out more about Southern Co-op’s community programme, Love Your Neighbourhood, visit