Injection of cash aid from care provider for Yarmouth Open Christmas

Kingsley Healthcare have donated £1000 to organisers of Open Christmas Great Yarmouth. Judith Hamb

Kingsley Healthcare have donated £1000 to organisers of Open Christmas Great Yarmouth. Judith Hambrook, David and Isabel Minister and Ian Jarvis from Kingsley Healthcare. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

Charity fundraisers who organise Open Christmas Great Yarmouth have been given a timely boost.

As preparations count down to the festive lunch for the homeless and disadvantaged on Christmas Day, care provider Kingsley Healthcare has stepped in with a £1,000 donation.

The event at the Marina Centre has been running for the past 18 years but, ahead of the 19th Open Christmas, organisers confessed funding had become more difficult.

David Minister, who took it on five years ago, helped by his wife Isabel and three other volunteers, said: 'In recent years there have not been any cooking facilities available at the Marina Centre.

'That means we have to bring in everything and hire three big ovens and all the crockery. That has taken the cost of organising the event to £3,000.'

Mr Minister, who runs a kitchen and bathroom shop in Ormesby, said the donation from Kingsley had come as a 'fantastic boost at the perfect moment'.

Ian Jarvis, group finance director at Kingsley, based in Lowestoft, said: 'We as a company are expanding fast and enjoying success but at Christmas we wanted to make a gesture to people in our area who are not so fortunate.'

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Organisers receive help from a variety of businesses including Bernard Matthews, which provides more than 20 large turkeys.

Judith Hambrook, also part of the organising committee, said: 'The Masonic Lodge in Yarmouth cooks the turkeys for us ahead of the event and our chefs come in on Christmas Eve and strip the birds of all the meat.'

Three hundred meals are provided on the day with elderly and disabled people coming from as far afield as Oulton Broad and Lowestoft. A programme of entertainment will also be put on including a comedian and disco.