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Elgin City joins forces with Tesco and The Salt Cellar to deliver more than 500 Christmas meals to elderly Moray residents


By Jonathan Clark

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Elgin City player Rory MacEwan (left) and general manager Keiran Carty (right) join Salt Cellar staff to handover meals to West Park Court residents. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Elgin City player Rory MacEwan (left) and general manager Keiran Carty (right) join Salt Cellar staff to handover meals to West Park Court residents. Picture: Becky Saunderson

ELGIN City Football Club has again gone above and beyond to make Christmas a touch extra special for hundreds of elderly Moray residents.

On Wednesday, December 22, players Rory MacEwan and Fin Allen and club staff helped deliver a whopping 520 three-course Christmas meals to 10 care homes and sheltered housing areas in Elgin and Lossiemouth.

This is the biggest Christmas initiative the club has ever undertaken – coming after they delivered 130 meals to sheltered housing and 100 hampers to care homes in 2020.

The initiative was possible thanks to funding from the SPFL Trust's Festive Friends project. David Guidi and staff at Bridge 45/The Salt Cellar in Lossie prepared and cooked the meals, with food provided by Tesco Elgin.

From left: Elgin City players Fin Allen and Rory McEwan with David Guidi, Keiran Carty and Tracy Gourlay. Picture: Becky Saunderson
From left: Elgin City players Fin Allen and Rory McEwan with David Guidi, Keiran Carty and Tracy Gourlay. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Keiran Carty, Elgin City's newly-appointed general manager, said: "It’s great to have grown on our initiatives from last year and to support our community after what has been another tough year.

"I have so many people to thank for making all this possible. I must firstly give a special shoutout to David Guidi, when I approached him with this idea he said yes before I even finished the pitch.

"His staff have done an incredible job preparing all this food, while still serving their regular customers. They should be proud of this achievement as much as I am, without them it wasn’t possible.

"Stephen and Tracy at Tesco did a fantastic job assisting me with the majority of stock and Highland Industrial Supplies kindly donated all the food containers.

"A thank you also to our staff Craigh, Alison, Bonnie and Adele for assisting and delivering the meals.

"I’m delighted with how our Christmas initiatives played out this year and hope to grow on them next year."

Elgin City delivered meals to Hersbruck Court, The Grove, Loxa Court, Abbeyvale, Abbeyside, Spynie, Anderson's, West Park Court, Netherport and Linkwood View.

Hersbruck Court residents from left Helen Scott, Hamish Mackenzie and Annette Turner getting meals from Elgin City. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Hersbruck Court residents from left Helen Scott, Hamish Mackenzie and Annette Turner getting meals from Elgin City. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Residents were delighted to meet the players and enjoyed the food.

Spynie Care Home's administrator Emma Robertson said: "The meals were brilliant. All of the residents really enjoyed them.

"Last year the residents got a hamper each, so it's really lovely that Elgin City think of us at this time of year.

"Due to Covid rules, it was only two ladies that met people from football club but they both really enjoyed doing that."

Elgin City along with Tesco's Tracy Gourlay (far right) hand over Christmas meals to Spynie Care Home. Picture: Becky Saunderson
Elgin City along with Tesco's Tracy Gourlay (far right) hand over Christmas meals to Spynie Care Home. Picture: Becky Saunderson

Dougie McPhee, enhanced housing operations manager at Hanover Housing, who run Hersbruck Court, Loxa Court, West Park Court, Netherport and Linkwood View, added: "Elgin is a really great community for our residents.

"It's welcoming and has a real sense of family and nothing demonstrates that like the generosity of the players and staff from Elgin City.

"Our residents really appreciate everything they do and it's particularly helpful at this time of year. I want to thank them on behalf of our residents and wish them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

From left Fin Allen, Rory McEwan and Keiran Carty from Elgin City with Anne, Cherry and Pauline from Loxa Court with Team Leader Joanne (front). Picture: Becky Saunderson
From left Fin Allen, Rory McEwan and Keiran Carty from Elgin City with Anne, Cherry and Pauline from Loxa Court with Team Leader Joanne (front). Picture: Becky Saunderson
Front from left: Julie Guidi-McLean (Salt Cellar), Rory McEwan, Fin Allen and Tracy Gourlay joined by Linkwood View residents from left John, Charlene, Angela (manager) and Joana (support worker). Picture: Becky Saunderson
Front from left: Julie Guidi-McLean (Salt Cellar), Rory McEwan, Fin Allen and Tracy Gourlay joined by Linkwood View residents from left John, Charlene, Angela (manager) and Joana (support worker). Picture: Becky Saunderson

All meals were delivered fresh to the residents on Wednesday, thanks to the hard work of the staff at The Salt Cellar and to do Tesco Elgin.

Salt Cellar owner David Guidi, who also does hospitality for Elgin City, added: "The staff were all happy to help out, because it's a good cause and it's nice to give something back.

"Last year we did 200 and it was 500 this year – but the more you do it the easier it gets. We've had some good feedback so that makes it feel a bit more worthwhile."

Stephen McEwan, store manager at Tesco Elgin, added: "We did the same last year and it's such a simple idea. We can provide food, David can make it and Elgin City can add some glamour to the delivery. It works so well.

"It's great when you get three groups pulling together for one cause. Ultimately, it's about doing the right thing in our community and giving a little back to people less fortunate than us."

Salt Cellar staff with David Guidi who helped hand out the meals. Picture: Becky Saunderson..
Salt Cellar staff with David Guidi who helped hand out the meals. Picture: Becky Saunderson..
A visit to Anderson's Care Home from Elgin City.
A visit to Anderson's Care Home from Elgin City.
Elgin City's community and academy operation manager Craigh Stewart at Netherport.
Elgin City's community and academy operation manager Craigh Stewart at Netherport.

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