'We really get looked after' - Dozens fed at Open Christmas Day lunch

The Norwich Open Christmas on Christmas Day for the vulnerable and people in need, from left, Martia

The Norwich Open Christmas on Christmas Day for the vulnerable and people in need, from left, Martial, Ellie Severo (helper), Ian and Donny Indelicado. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Dozens of people in need were fed a festive lunch at Norwich Open's Christmas day event.

Now in its 29th year, the meal was served from gazebos outside of St Andrew's Hall due to coronavirus.

People were given food including pigs in blankets and vegetarian burgers, as well as food and gift bags for the coming days.

The pigs in blankets at the Norwich Open Christmas for the vulnerable and people in need. Picture: D

The pigs in blankets at the Norwich Open Christmas for the vulnerable and people in need. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Father-of-three Lee Chandler said he has been a regular at the Christmas dinner since a car accident life him injured and without a home.

The 59-year-old said: "I was hit by a car and it broke my shoulder blade and smashed my hand. I then lost my house because I couldn't work as a result of the injuries.


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"I've now got somewhere to stay in the city centre but it is lovely here. We really get looked after."

Donny Indelicado at the Norwich Open Christmas on Christmas Day for the vulnerable and people in nee

Donny Indelicado at the Norwich Open Christmas on Christmas Day for the vulnerable and people in need. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Lesley, who did not want to give his surname, first came to the event after the death of his father 20 years ago.

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The 76-year-old said: "I'm all on my own now so I come here for company. I have got friends but they live the other side of Peterborough.

"I've met quite a few people at the lunches and they really help me out."

Volunteer Jon Lee serves up the soup at the Norwich Open Christmas for the vulnerable and people in

Volunteer Jon Lee serves up the soup at the Norwich Open Christmas for the vulnerable and people in need. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Sean Adams, from Norwich, said he has been attracted to the lunch because of the "community spirit." 

The 47-year-old said: "There is no judgement from anyone. Everyone is really friendly."

Mr Adams said he would normally spend Christmas with his parents, who are in their 70s and live in North Walsham, but was staying in the city due to coronavirus.

One of the trustees of the Norwich Open Christmas, Carol Lunney, at the Christmas Day lunch for the

One of the trustees of the Norwich Open Christmas, Carol Lunney, at the Christmas Day lunch for the vulnerable and people in need. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Carol Lunney, one of the organisers, said: "There is a real need for this event, particularly this year, and we were absolutely determined to not pull the plug on it.

"For people who are lonely it gives them human contact and for people who are homeless or penniless it gives them basic nutrition.

Outside the event were John Warrilow ands Denzil Flack, both from Thetford, who were handing out free clothes.

John Warrilow, left, and Denzil Flack from Thetford, giving away clothes at the Norwich Open Christm

John Warrilow, left, and Denzil Flack from Thetford, giving away clothes at the Norwich Open Christmas for the vulnerable and people in need. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Mr Flack said: "Neither of us have our children on Christmas Day so we thought we would make a difference."

Chef Mariusz Radosz and Steve Fletcher assisting, ready with the turkey baps at the Norwich Open Chr

Chef Mariusz Radosz and Steve Fletcher assisting, ready with the turkey baps at the Norwich Open Christmas lunch for the vulnerable and people in need. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY

Homeless Peter Brown chats to volunteer Tony Bown at the Norwich Open Christmas on Christmas Day for

Homeless Peter Brown chats to volunteer Tony Bown at the Norwich Open Christmas on Christmas Day for the vulnerable and people in need. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY


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