Pensioners enjoy lunch and entertainment at Manchester Airport’s annual Autumn Leaves event

More than 170 over-65s enjoyed an afternoon of entertainment with a slap up lunch sponsored by Manchester Airport as the ever-popular Autumn Leaves event returned on Wednesday and Thursday last week.

The annual lunch, which the airport first arranged in 2011, is free for pensioners from Woodhouse Park and wards neighbouring the airport. Volunteers from Manchester Airport served up a three-course hot lunch, plus an afternoon of entertainment with bingo and a free raffle.

Since it started, more than 2,500 people have attended the event, which aims to tackle social isolation among over-65s in communities surrounding the airport site. Around 30 airport staff volunteered to help out across the two days.

This year’s lunch celebrated 85 years of Manchester Airport. Staff were on hand to share birthday cupcakes with guests and the Lancashire Belle serenaded them with hits from every decade since the Airport was opened in 1938.

Autumn Leaves is part of a wider programme of outreach work that sees all airport colleagues given two days of company time per year to volunteer in the community.

The airport’s Community Trust Fund donates up to £100,000 per year to good causes, while the Airport Academy, a project run in partnership with Trafford College, helps the long-term unemployed and those in need of additional support to hone their skills and gain work at the airport.

Robert Pattison, Head of Community Engagement at Manchester Airport, said: "We are proud that Manchester Airport is at the heart of its community, not just as a major employer but also as an institution that connects people and invests in good causes.

“I’d like to thank every member of airport staff who volunteered their time to make this year’s Autumn Leaves lunch such a success. It’s a hugely popular, well-attended event and having run it for over a decade now, we know it is a highlight in the calendar for many local residents.”

To find out more visit https://www.manchesterairport.co.uk/community/.