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Community dinners bring Christmas cheer for those who would have been alone

PUBLISHED: 14:23 25 December 2018 | UPDATED: 14:30 25 December 2018

Major Dianna Barretts, fourth from left with guests at the Dereham Salvation Army Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Major Dianna Barretts, fourth from left with guests at the Dereham Salvation Army Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

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Turkey, pigs-in-blankets and sprouts were on the table at two community Christmas dinners in mid-Norfolk.

Gene and Tom Crozier were busy in the kitchen at the Dereham Salvation Army Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSONGene and Tom Crozier were busy in the kitchen at the Dereham Salvation Army Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Swaffham’s Tea Pot cafe hosted a dinner for more than 30 people who would otherwise have been alone, using food supplied by businesses and donations from the public.

Sandra Berryman said it was the second time she’d organised a free dinner for residents who did not have anywhere else to go.

She said: “It’s really nice to be able to do something for someone else at Christmas. We’ve had lots of donations from around the town, which has been great.”

Mellie Barnard, 77, from Swaffham, was there with her husband Michael, 86. Mrs Barnard said: “It’s really nice of them to give up their time on Christmas and put this on. Years ago we used to have the family on Christmas but now they come at another time of year.”

Left, Sandra Berryman, owner of Swaffham's Tea Pot Cafe, with helpers Terrol Powers-Richardson, Victoria Adcock and Sharon Lyon, who were preparing the Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSONLeft, Sandra Berryman, owner of Swaffham's Tea Pot Cafe, with helpers Terrol Powers-Richardson, Victoria Adcock and Sharon Lyon, who were preparing the Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Kevin and Neil Andrews-Stott had both driven up from London to spend the day there with the dad, Douglas Stott, who lives in Swaffham.

Kevin said: “It’s a really nice chance to spend Christmas with him.”

In Dereham, about 40 people went to a morning church service before moving onto the Salvation Army Hall in St Nicholas Street for a Christmas dinner.

Major Dianna Bennett said she was delighted the event had such support. She said: “Christmas is about the birth of Christ, and to be able to do this for people in our community gives a really strong feeling of carrying on the work of Jesus, whose life was about serving and loving people.”

Guests at the Dereham Salvation Army Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSONGuests at the Dereham Salvation Army Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

After the dinner, guests enjoyed games including pass-the-parcel, and sang carols together.

Bruce and Madeline Rodgers of Swaffham were among the guests at the town's Tea Pot Cafe to enjoy a Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSONBruce and Madeline Rodgers of Swaffham were among the guests at the town's Tea Pot Cafe to enjoy a Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Swaffham's Tea Pot cafe hosted a Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSONSwaffham's Tea Pot cafe hosted a Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Douglas Stott, centre, from Swaffham, with sons Kevin, left, and Neil Andrews-Stott enjoying the Christmas dinner at the town's Tea Pot cafe. Picture: STUART ANDERSONDouglas Stott, centre, from Swaffham, with sons Kevin, left, and Neil Andrews-Stott enjoying the Christmas dinner at the town's Tea Pot cafe. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

Guests at the Tea Pot Cafe in Swaffham enjoy a Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSONGuests at the Tea Pot Cafe in Swaffham enjoy a Christmas dinner. Picture: STUART ANDERSON

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