Committee celebrates success of lunch for more than 40 people spending Christmas Day alone

Sheringham Christmas tree Festival at St Andrew's Methodist Church. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Sheringham Christmas tree Festival at St Andrew's Methodist Church. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A north Norfolk community group has celebrated the success of its Christmas lunch for the lonely for another year.

The Sheringham Christmas Lunch charity hosted a free festive meal for more than 40 people, who would otherwise be spending Christmas Day alone.

The event was held at St Andrew's Church, Sheringham, on December 25, and the group fed - including volunteers - more than 60 people.

Jane Garry, secretary for the charity, said: 'We had just under 40 people come from Sheringham, Cromer, Holt, Weybourne and Fakenham.

'The lunch has been going on for quite a long time. They are just people who will be on their own on Christmas Day - of all ages.

'25 volunteers helped out, and some even came on Christmas Eve and prepped veg.'

She said the event itself was 'a great time.

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'There was a quiz and a full lunch - with pigs in blankets, sprouts, parsnips, turkey, the works.

'The veg was given to us from Hastings and Tesco, and meat from Morrisons and P&S butchers, but Felbrigg Hall have offered to give us our turkeys for free next year, which is great.

'Everyone who attended also had a present to unwrap or take away with them.'

Mrs Garry described the food as 'wonderful' and credited the group's chef, Howard Bowen, a volunteer who works as a school chef in Norwich with its success.

She added: 'The food was as good as in any restaurant.'

The group also hand-delivered three Christmas lunches to people who were unable to travel.

Mrs Garry, and her husband Philip, both retirees in their sixties from Sheringham, responded to an advert in the local paper a few years ago, looking for volunteers.

They joined the committee alongside Mr Bowen and chair Nicky Phillips, a podiatrist from West Runton.

Mr and Mrs Garry have three children and nine grandchildren, but their family members were all elsewhere on Christmas.

However, Mrs Garry said: 'Its a way of helping in the community and quite often people with family living far away will volunteer with us to have somewhere to be.'

She thanked all the volunteers and drivers, on behalf of the committee, who picked up people who couldn't make it there on their own.