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Ballot for a free, festive feast is now open

Older residents who want to apply for a seat at Waltham Forest Council’s free Christmas meal events can do so now – because the ballot for places is now open.

The annual meals have proved overwhelmingly popular since they began in 2012; with thousands of residents aged 65 and over taking part.

Last year, a ballot system was introduced to ensure that every applicant received a fair opportunity to attend one of the meals. The online ballot opened today – Monday 24 October – and closes on Friday 4 November. Phone applications can be made between Friday 28 October and Thursday 3 November. Phone lines will open from 10am to 2pm, only.

Guests will be treated to a tasty Christmas meal, along with the chance to catch up with friends and neighbours, and meet new people. This year, there will be three Christmas lunches and one dinner, taking place in Chingford, Leyton and Walthamstow.

The events take place on the following days:

  • Monday 5 December, 12pm–2.30pm at Leyton Orient FC (Matchroom Stadium, Brisbane Road, E10 5NF)

  • Tuesday 6 December, 12pm–2.30pm (lunch) and 6pm-8.30pm (dinner) at Walthamstow Assembly Hall (Forest Road, E17 6HE) 

  • Wednesday 7 December, 12pm–2.30pm at Chingford Assembly Hall (The Green, Station Road, E4 7EN)

When registering, you will need to give your first and second choice venue, full name, date of birth, email address (if applicable), home address, contact number and any accessibility or dietary requirements.

Due to the popularity of the events, and venue capacity, we are only able to accommodate a certain number of guests at the Christmas meals. If you do not receive confirmation by letter or email, unfortunately you have not been successful this year.

Council Leader, Chris Robbins, said: “Events like the free Christmas meals are fantastic occasions that celebrate our older residents and acknowledge the valuable contribution they make to our community. I encourage everyone aged 65 or over to apply for a place in the ballot.”

Online registration is open from Monday 24 October until Friday 4 November, visit If you do not have internet access, you can phone 0161 259 0518 between Friday 28 October and Thursday 3 November.

The telephone line will only open from 10am to 2pm. Please do not call outside of these dates and times.

If you would like more information about any of these press releases or have a different media enquiry please contact us at or on 020 8496 4521 / 4802.

For out of hours please email or call 07966 915 157.