Home deliveries and food stalls will see Open Christmas go ahead

Norwich Open Christmas at St Andrew's Hall.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Open Christmas at St Andrew's Hall.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Home deliveries and festive food stalls will ensure an event which feeds hundreds of people and gives them companionship on Christmas Day can return.

Norwich Open Christmas is held at St Andrew's Hall in the city centre each year, and gives hundreds of people a hot meal and place to go on December 25.

Its volunteers serve 500 Christmas meals each year, with cooking preparations beginning 48 hours in advance.

Norwich Open Christmas at St Andrew's Hall.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Open Christmas at St Andrew's Hall.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

But with coronavirus restrictions still in place, trustees, determined to see the event continue, have had to come up with an alternative. 

Chairperson Bill Ashton said this year - if government restrictions allow - the event will take two forms.

Home deliveries will be made in the morning, with food and festive goods delivered by volunteers.

"The problems we have got with social distancing mean we can't have our normal event," he said. "This year because you can't come to us, we would like to come to you."

Later, food stalls will open outside St Andrew's Hall, covered under gazebos, from 12pm to 2pm for people to enjoy something to eat.

Norwich Open Christmas at St Andrew's Hall.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norwich Open Christmas at St Andrew's Hall.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

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Turkey rolls, pigs in blankets, hot drinks and mince pies will be among the food on offer at the stalls, which will aim to support rough sleepers in particular.

Mr Ashton said those who would like a home delivery would need to call the Open Christmas team, with the number available on its website.

He also said they were appealing for donations of a festive variety, but said that all goods would need to be individually wrapped.

He said: "Unfortunately every year we need an Open Christmas for those who are disadvantaged, but this year in particular it has been a dreadful year for everybody and we appreciate there are many people who are going through considerable suffering. We want them to know that at Christmas we will be there for them."

You can visit the Norwich Open Christmas website norwichopenchristmas.org.uk or call 01603 510751.


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