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Help make it a less lonely Christmas

PUBLISHED: 20:06 21 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:52 05 July 2010

IT'S been a tradition in Lowestoft for over 10 years and this year the Salvation Army is again calling on people to give their time to celebrate Christmas with those who are alone on the festive day.

IT'S been a tradition in Lowestoft for over 10 years and this year the Salvation Army is again calling on people to give their time to celebrate Christmas with those who are alone on the festive day.

The Salvation Army provides free three-course dinners to those who are alone on Christmas Day, but this year Majors Barry and Cindy Willson are asking those who want to attend and those who can help on the day to come forward early to help.

“We look on every Christmas as a new experience and we know that there are local people who will be anxious about Christmas Day. We are keen for them to know that if they are alone at Christmas, we will be pleased to make provision for them, but we do need to know in advance for catering purposes,” said Barry.

Around 90 people attended last year's event at the Lowestoft Citadel, in Battery Green Road, with 20 selfless volunteers giving their time to cook, entertain and drive home the guests.

Helpers will start the large catering project from around 2pm on Christmas Eve, with more arriving from 10am on Christmas Day. Visitors to the Citadel on the day will be met with coffee and mince pies. An optional Christmas morning service is held from around 10.45am, with the free meal served up at 12.30pm. Entertainment takes place throughout the afternoon with guests leaving from 4.30pm.

Barry and Cindy have been participating in Christmas Alone events since 1981 and as a result the couple's six children have always known Christmas to be a day of helping those alone on the day.

“For many people, Christmas Day affords a lovely opportunity for a family celebration, but for a significant number of others the occasion emphasises their loneliness of their difficult circumstances,” said Barry.

Anyone who is willing to offer some of their time on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day will be greatly appreciated, with the couple looking for entertainers, drivers and cooks to step forward and help the free operation. They also welcome any donation of money or gifts to help make the day extra special.

To help in any way or to register to attend the meal call 01502 568867.

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