Chefs Helen and Lisa Tse cooked for the British Prime Minister and the Chinese Premier but their latest engagement, they say, is one of their most rewarding.
Sweet Mandarin Restaurant is offering to cook dinner for the elderly community on 30th December 2015 in conjunction with Wai Yin Charity and their guests will pay absolutely nothing.
As the Christmas and New Year festivities kicks in a quarter of all over-65s – nearly three million people are dreading this season as it brings too many memories of loved ones who have passed away and fears of being lonely. Although loneliness maybe a year – round problem, during this Christmas / New Year period it is exacerbated (according to a survey conducted by Age Concern).
Helen Tse said: “Wai Yin charity work tirelessly to help the elderly and vulnerable and for that we are eternally grateful. I remember Wai Yin put on community events for the elderly and my grandmother used to participate in the community choir and dinners and I’ll never forget how happy she was with her new friends.. It struck a chord with my sister and me and we wanted to help out. We decided to fully sponsor this dinner because I believe people shouldn’t be lonely during this festive period. I hope that the guests will enjoy their traditional Chinese dinner and have a chance to make new friends during this event. I also hope it will encourage others to do their bit – no matter how big or small. If you know of anyone who may be vulnerable or lonely – involve them in your festive activities or just stop and greet them – it could make all the difference.”
There are clear reasons behind the high numbers of lonely older people. Families are more geographically scattered than ever before due to factors such as increasing divorce rates and the changing job market; working families live busy, hectic lives; and as more of us use electronic communications, older people risk being isolated from conversation channels. Yet loneliness is a serious health hazard which can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day and increases the risk of health conditions including dementia, high blood pressure and depression.
Sylvia Sham, CEO of Wai Yin said: “The elderly especially the Chinese elderly are isolated primarily due to language barriers and loneliness can be a serious condition which can be hugely damaging, mentally, physically and emotionally. Wai Yin is committed to helping these vulnerable people and we are grateful to Lisa and Helen Tse of Sweet Mandarin for this generous gesture and sumptuous dinner. It means a lot to the elderly guests. They haven’t had a sit down celebratory dinner like this for a long time.”
Lisa Tse concluded: “We love cooking and it’s our honour and privilege to cook for these elders – to whom we give thanks for their contributions to British society. We’re also committed to helping our charity of the year, Wai Yin charity in any way we can. I would urge everyone to make contact with your relatives, neighbours and look out for each other. Everyone should have someone during this festive season.”