Community pulls together at successful Open Christmas in Great Yarmouth

Two committee members and volunteer dirver camouflauged as Santa at Open Christmas Dinner for the ho

Two committee members and volunteer dirver camouflauged as Santa at Open Christmas Dinner for the homeless 2016 at Retroskate, Marina Centre, Great Yarmouth. Photo by Belinda Roll - Credit: Belinda Roll

A community came together in the festive spirit on Christmas Day, as the town's Open Christmas was held in the Marina Centre.

Around 300 people tucked into turkey, raised their glasses and shared in the Christmas cheer, as the annual event proved to be yet another event.

Held each Christmas, the event is led by a steering group of volunteers, who pull together to give those with nowhere else to go, or nobody to share the occasion with somewhere to go.

While guests didn't arrive until 11am, hundreds of volunteers began preparations as early as 7am, to make sure everything was ready, with some not leaving until gone 5.30pm.

David Minister, chair of the steering group said: 'There was a lovely atmosphere right from the very start, giving the people who came a really positive experience.

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'It's such a difficult time of year for people to be on there own, so events like this are so important to show them we care.'

Among the guests attending the event were elderly people, those without homes and even some families.

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Several organisations and charities rallied around to help make the event the success it was, including Cliff Park Ormiston Academy, Centre 81 and Norse, who provided transport to the event.

Mr Minister added: 'I cannot thank everybody who volunteered enough, without these people giving up their time things like this would not be possible. Everyone fabulous and worked so hard.

'It was a long day for some people, but definitely well worthwhile.

'Every year we are surprised by just how much people put into it, but this year really was particularly great.'

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