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It won't be lonely this Christmas as town bands together in solidarity

PUBLISHED: 17:03 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 06 December 2019

This picture was taken at last year's Christmas dinner held by the Salvation Army in Woodbridge and shows what an invaluable service they provide. Picture: THE SALVATION ARMY

This picture was taken at last year's Christmas dinner held by the Salvation Army in Woodbridge and shows what an invaluable service they provide. Picture: THE SALVATION ARMY

Archant

The Salvation Army will be holding their annual Christmas lunch for the lonely and vulnerable this year - this time with extra funding from community leaders.

The Salvation Army hold Christmas gatherings across the UK providing a much needed service to the lonely, vulnerable or homeless in their time of need. Picture: SARAH KING/THE SALVATION ARMYThe Salvation Army hold Christmas gatherings across the UK providing a much needed service to the lonely, vulnerable or homeless in their time of need. Picture: SARAH KING/THE SALVATION ARMY

Churches Together is an alliance between local churches and the congregations in Woodbridge who, alongside The Salvation Army, help to provide festive food on Christmas Day for anyone that is in need.

The town council have decided this year to give them a helping hand and have donated £1000 to the kind hearted cause to aid with food, drink and presents to anybody vulnerable, alone or homeless and will be throwing open the doors of Shire Hall for the first time to welcome guests for a pre-dinner gathering.

Eamonn O'Nolan. former mayor and councillor for Woodbridge, proposed the idea and said: "I think they are amazing organisations.

"They provide a very special day for a lot of Woodbridge folk who otherwise may not have a Christmas dinner to go to.

People are very grateful for the support provided by The Salvation Army on one of the lonliest days of the year. Picture: SARAH KING/THE SALVATION ARMYPeople are very grateful for the support provided by The Salvation Army on one of the lonliest days of the year. Picture: SARAH KING/THE SALVATION ARMY

"Numerous local suppliers and restaurateurs support these lunches.

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"On Christmas morning, the Shire Hall will be open for a pre-lunch reception, hosted by the council."

The Salvation Army opens 700 centres across the UK to help celebrate the season with vulnerable people who otherwise would be sat alone and destitute at what can be a very lonely time of year.

Churches Together and Woodbridge Town Council will also be lending a hand to The Salvation Army this year. Picture: SARAH KING/THE SALVATION ARMYChurches Together and Woodbridge Town Council will also be lending a hand to The Salvation Army this year. Picture: SARAH KING/THE SALVATION ARMY

Major Alan Hill, of The Salvation Army in Woodbridge, said: "In Woodbridge we have been running a Christmas Day meal for over 10 years, anyone who requires a meal and fellowship are welcome including families, married couples or those by themselves. We provide a full Christmas meal with all the trimmings and there is no charge for this.

"We give each person who attends a gift to go away with and these are provided by the Lion's Club of Woodbridge.

"Last year we had an attendance of 52 people and one of the homeless people who attended went away with tears in his eyes after opening his present.

"It's amazing how many people want to help and I thank them all for making someone's Christmas."

You can donate towards providing a Christmas meal for the elderly, lonesome or homeless via The Salvation Army website. Picture: SARAH KING/THE SALVATION ARMYYou can donate towards providing a Christmas meal for the elderly, lonesome or homeless via The Salvation Army website. Picture: SARAH KING/THE SALVATION ARMY

Lunch will be served at the Salvation Army Centre in Woodbridge at 12.30pm with the Shire Hall welcoming guests beforehand during the morning.

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