Book your place at Hartlepool’s Christmas Day lunch for the community

Rob Swan ahead of this year's Christmas Day lunch
Rob Swan ahead of this year's Christmas Day lunch
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Preparations for a Christmas Day lunch in Hartlepool for people who are alone, homeless or in need are well underway.

Volunteers will serve up a delicious four-course free meal and organisers say there is lots of places available.

The whole event creates a wonderfully happy, warm and welcoming atmosphere and everyone really enjoys it

Rob Swan

The event caters for about 90 people who may be lonely, homeless or unable to feed themselves, and is always a huge success.

Rob Swan, who lives in the Dyke House area, has organised the event since 2009 after reading an appeal in the Hartlepool Mail that it would have to be cancelled if a new organiser could not be found.

He said: “I wouldn’t want to spend Christmas any other way. The whole event creates a wonderfully happy, warm and welcoming atmosphere and everyone really enjoys it.”

Guests are waited on at festively decorated tables with all the trimmings by a team of friendly volunteers.

Transport to and from the event is provided free and everyone is also given a Christmas tea of rolls, Christmas cake and mince pies to take home afterwards.

It costs between £1,200 to £1,400 to put on and is funded entirely by donations from local businesses and individuals.

Although most of the funding for this year has been found, donations are still required and can be made through Hartlepool Voluntary Development Agency (HVDA).

The venue for the lunch is not advertised in advance as it cannot cater for large numbers of unexpected arrivals on the day.

Anyone who wishes to attend or volunteer on the day should contact HVDA on (01429) 262641 to register.