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‘A true Christian act’ - 16 people enjoy Christmas meal in Elsing, thanks to kind-hearted mum and daughter

PUBLISHED: 13:50 25 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:50 25 December 2017

Gillian Sillett, left, and Sandra Evans before the meal was served. Pictures: David Bale

Gillian Sillett, left, and Sandra Evans before the meal was served. Pictures: David Bale

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Sixteen people plus Bessie the dog enjoyed a traditional Christmas turkey meal in Elsing, courtesy of a kind-hearted mum and daughter.

Monica Fain arrives at Elsing village hall. Pictures: David Bale Monica Fain arrives at Elsing village hall. Pictures: David Bale

Judith Richardson, 57, and daughter Caroline Champion, 28, decided to do something different on Christmas Day, and invited anyone in need of company to join them in mid-Norfolk.

The event at Elsing village hall kicked-off at around midday, with many of the guests being chauffeured to the meal by kind-hearted locals.

Mrs Richardson said: “We had people coming from as far away as Drayton, near Norwich, and Carbrooke, and they ranged in age from the elderly to the very young, which was what we wanted.”

The pair raised £170 through a JustGiving page, and other donations came from Waitrose, £100, Tesco, £25, with families and friends, even some of the guests, all contributing.

Caroline Champion preparing the meal. Pictures: David Bale Caroline Champion preparing the meal. Pictures: David Bale

They bought a 16kg turkey and served canapes and drinks to guests before the main meal.

Mrs Richardson, a foster carer and piano teacher from Lyng, added: “The meal was all covered by donations. I don’t feel like I’m giving up my Christmas Day, or missing out by doing this. If it goes well, we will probably do it again next year.”

Her daughter, a baker from Holt, said: “We wanted as many people as possible to feel they had a place to belong this Christmas Day.”

Friends Sandra Evans and Gillian Sillett, both from Lyng, said they would have been at home alone, if not for the invitation.

Mrs Evans said: “This is brilliant - a true Christian act.”

Another one of those keen to take up the offer was Monica Fain, 82, from Swanton Morley, who said: “It means an awful lot. I lost my husband during the year. I was invited to other people’s Christmas dinners, but it somehow did not feel right. I’ve not got family and this felt right for me.”

Another guest Judith Anderson, from Salle, said: “It’s nice to see so much kindness around for a change.”

Mother and daughter were helped out by Marilyn and John Mason, from Lyng, who said it was “such a nice thing” they were doing.

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