THE CHANCE to make Christmas extra special for elderly Petersfield residents is being offered by the town’s Beavers, Scouts and Cubs – but they need some help.

A festive party with a free three-course lunch with all the trimmings served by the kind-hearted youngsters is being provided for up to 100 senior citizens.

Gifts and raffle prizes – with raffle tickets stuck on to the underside of their dinner plates – will be handed out at the event being held in the Guide Hall in Petersfield.

Organiser Naomi Dodd, whose son Jack (6), a Beaver, and daughter Lauren (8), a Brownie, are helping out too, is now appealing for help from Post readers.

She needs donations of as-new gifts by October 30. These can be non-perishable foodstuffs, toiletries, books, socks, scarves, hats and gloves, jigsaws, notepads, pens, puzzle books and more.

They should be brought to the Petersfield Post office, 33 High Street, and put in a box in reception between the hours of 9am and 5pm on weekdays.

No candles or sharp items can be accepted.

The children, from the three groups of Petersfield, Liss and Sheet, will also put on a little concert at the lunch.

Naomi said the elderly people, some of whom lived in their own homes and some in care homes, were already asking if they could be invited again as they enjoyed it so much.

“One lady got quite emotional last year and said it was the only chance for everyone to get together,” said Naomi.

The youngsters got so much out of it too, she added.

“My kids love helping out so they are well up for it,” she said.

“It is nice for them all to help the elderly people in our community.”

Schools help too by offering their minibuses to help transport guests to and from the lunch.