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Melksham’s free festive feast

ON christmas Day this year, Core Church once again extends an open invitation to everyone to join them for a free festive feast at Melksham Assembly Hall.

Just as the number of guests has increased over the years, so has the number of offers of help, and this year Gavin Owen, who co-ordinates the event, has asked the Melksham News to help him let people know how they can contribute.

Gavin said, “We set up the Assembly Hall on Christmas Eve between 10.00am and midday. It’s a good opportunity for people to come along who can’t be there on Christmas Day but still want to help out. Furniture needs to be arranged, tables need to be covered, places laid and all with the same care you would take at home.

“In terms of Christmas Day itself, what we’re primarily looking for is people who would like to join us for the whole day and have their Christmas dinner with us.

“It’s not waiters and waitresses we want, but guests who will take on the responsibility of serving the other people at their table. Our aim is to create the atmosphere of a big family meal, not a restaurant.”

There are two other ways that people can help on the day – transport and clearing up. Gavin said, “We offer transport to anyone who needs help getting to the Assembly Hall. For some years now Leszan Travel have kindly helped out by providing a minibus but we usually need three or four cars on top of that.

“The only restrictions are that anyone offering to drive needs to have a CRB or DBS certificate that we can see and they need to be able to collect their passengers in time to have them at the Assembly Hall for 11.00am.

“Clearing up on the other hand is much more straight forward. We start the mammoth task of washing-up at about 3.30pm and begin to pack away the hall about an hour later so that we’re finished by about 5.30pm.”

And for those people who can’t be there in person there are still other ways to contribute. Gavin reports that every year people in Melksham ask if they can donate to the Christmas Dinner. He said, “Some people want to make a financial donation whilst others would like to buy something. If they get in touch, we can let them know how to give and what we need.”

If you would like to help in any way, please call or text Gavin on 07788 446567. For more information, visit the website at www.melksham.christmas or go to the Core Church stall at the Melksham Christmas Fayre on Saturday 5th December at the Assembly Hall.