A BUTCHER who has provided a turkey for the past decade for Chesham’s lonely elderly residents on Christmas day has been praised by the town.

For 10 years Gerry Martin of Gerry Martin’s Butchers, in High Street, Chesham, has cooked and provided the turkey for the Chesham Christmas Day Party for the Elderly at the Town Hall.

Town mayor councillor Derek Lacey said: “He’s a fantastic big-hearted guy. We all really appreciate it. We’re very grateful to him. It’s a good gesture. He’s going to slice it, cook it and deliver it; you can’t ask for better than that.

“Waitrose and Sainsbury’s are also providing food. It’s what Christmas is about. Not all communities get this. We’re very lucky in Chesham. We’re a close community that pulls together at the right times.”

Mr Martin started providing the turkey because he goes home to Norfolk for Christmas and wanted to do something for the town’s elderly.

He said: “All sorts of people help the elderly in Chesham on Christmas Day and I myself can’t. I also wanted to help so thought I’d give them the turkey as a gift.

“I enjoy doing it, I get a great pleasure out of it. I don’t want praise for it. Some of the old folk go out of their way to thank me which is nice and it’s good to know they will enjoy their Christmas lunch as well as the good people who have given up their day to help. As long as I’m here I will carry on doing it for them.”

Mr Martin said this Christmas period has been his best ever. He believes it could have something to do with the Bucks Examiner’s recent Support Our Shops campaign.

He said: “It’s the best Christmas I’ve ever known, and that’s the truth. The amount of orders I’m taking is heading towards double that of a normal year, which is quite eerie.

“It’s lovely. It must have something to do with talking to the Examiner for its campaign. We’ve had a very nice response from people this year. Let’s hope it continues.”