JOEY ESSEX tried out a new number when he called bingo at a Royal Voluntary Service social club in aid of our Helping Hands at Christmas campaign.
Former Towie favourite Joey said: “Many of the people who come here don’t have families and their only day out is this.
“The volunteers are incredible and it’s all for a really great cause.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure to see the volunteers bringing everyone together and putting a smile on their faces, especially at Christmas.
“I think a lot of us all know things like this exist but it’s great to actually see it in person.
“I’ve got a nan who is quite elderly and it’s great knowing there will be something like this around for her should she want it.
“It’s good that older people have a chance to get out and keep their mind occupied. I know a lot of people here live alone.”
Joey surprised the diners as their special guest caller for the Sun Bingo session after they polished off a lunch of steak and Guinness pie created by the volunteers.
Co-ordinators Diane Cox and Joan Rawlinson made sure they introduced Joey to a mix of guests at the club in Maldon, Essex.
It didn’t take long after he met Felicity Townsend for her to ask: “Would you like to sit on my lap,” to which Joey joked: “Maybe later.”
As a novice caller, the former I’m A Celeb campmate opted to make up his own lines to go with numbers rather than trying to remember the usual ones.
“Who wants to go on a date? — 48,” Joey quipped. He surprisingly got no offers but a lot of laughs.
Joey handed out prize hampers to winners in his round. Sun Bingo has teamed up with our Helping Hands at Christmas campaign to donate proceeds from our Winner, Winner Christmas Dinner Games to Royal Voluntary Service.
This year, more than ever, clubs like this one will be a lifeline to the elderly and vulnerable.
At the Maldon Lunch and Social club, Joan and Diane are supported by a host of volunteers including 96-year-old Ivy George.
She said: “It’s an amazing feeling volunteering and I’ve done it for years. They won’t let me do much now other than serve the tea in the morning.
“I just love being involved and seeing the smiles it puts on everyone’s faces.”
Joan and Diane are keen for more younger volunteers to sign up, as they need help with the more physical tasks, such as setting up tables and getting the room ready for service users.
Joan said: “We’ve got a lot of older volunteers and could do with younger ones. We try not to let the older ones do too much.”
- To play Sun Bingo and be in with a chance of winning a Christmas hamper, see sunbingo.co.uk/charity-bingo.
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