Volunteers dish up some festive cheer

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VOLUNTEERS helped dish out a bit of festive cheer for the needy, homeless and lonely over the Christmas period.

Surviving Christmas served hundreds of meals at the YMCA in St Paul’s Road on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and yesterday (Thursday) at its annual three-day open event.

A doctor was on hand for the second year running to give out free health checks and visitors were treated to a haircut and gifts.

The Salvation Army’s brass band also attended, as did a guitarist and keyboard player.

Simon Hewish, project co-ordinator for the charity, said: “We served 108 meals alone on Christmas Day and more than 90 on Boxing Day. Everyone was also given a bag of food and a present to take home with them.

“The three days were good overall and amazing. All our volunteers have been invaluable, some of which are just stars.”

Surviving Christmas also distributed nearly 500 hampers to poor and hard-up families across 1066 Country, some from as far as Rye and Cooden Beach.

Mr Hewish said: “Adam Newington, our ex-Army chef, together with his team, were amazing doing all of the cooking over the three days. The kitchen would just not run without them.

“We has slightly less people in on Christmas Day, as other places like the Tubman were providing Christmas meals for those in need. But on Boxing Day more people came through the doors.”