It’s a mammoth task for the group of volunteers who every yer make Christmas day special for several hundred people in the shire – and this year will be even bigger.
The Sapphire Coast Community Christmas Day lunches organised by Janita and Jeremy Fernando, started in Twyford Hall six years ago. The idea was to encourage anyone spending Christmas on their own, or doing it tough, to head along to Twyford Hall and enjoy Christmas lunch complete with all the festivities and presents.
Volunteers decorate the hall, prepare and cook a full Christmas lunch, and wait on the tables Mr Fernando said last year people of all ages and backgrounds participated and the atmosphere in the room was just like a busy family household should have on Christmas Day.
“The idea is that no one spends Christmas day on their own,” he said.
Last year more than 100 people enjoyed lunch together at Twyford Hall and for the first time the lunch was also run in Eden at the Uniting Church Hall. Both those venues will once again host a lunch, but this year Bega will be another venue using the Bega Showground.
“More people are alone on Christmas Day than you would think,” said Janita Fernando.
“Last year we had young families, single parents, couples on their own, visitors with nowhere to go, senior citizens, the list goes on. It really was a snapshot of our community and it was so gratifying to see people from all walks of life sitting down together to share a Christmas Day meal. It made me proud to live on the Sapphire Coast,” Ms Fernando said.
Lunches will be served from 12-3pm and all are welcome. The organisers rely on volunteers and donations to make this community event happen so if you would like attend, volunteer or make a donation, call Janita on 0427 298 432. Transport can be provided upon request.