Salvation Army feeding the needy at Christmas

The Salvation Army’s Newport centre will be open on Christmas Day, where volunteers will provide a free festive hot meal and pudding to anyone who may be homeless, elderly, or on their own. Families in need can also take part.

Last year, the team served 161 dinners on Christmas Day and provided 140 families with hampers. The service is looking for donations of food for the Christmas meal including carrots, sprouts, stuffing, turkey, and Christmas pudding.

Donations of cream, custard, mince pies, milk, tea, coffee and Christmas cake, non-alcoholic fizzy drinks and fruit juice are also welcomed. Any suitable gifts for men, ladies and children can be donated along with goodies for the hampers, which should be tins of vegetables and meat, pasta and other non-perishables. The Salvation Army are also looking for anyone who can provide some entertainment, and volunteers to help in the preparation of the vegetables on Christmas Eve, which usually takes a couple of hours with a team of people.

Volunteers are needed on Christmas Day to help get the room ready, and to serve guests during the meal, then clear away afterwards. There is also a need for drivers able to collect some guests from their homes, and return them afterwards. Those who are busy at Christmas can help prepare the hampers in the week leading up to the big day.

Anyone who can help should contact or phone 07884 562898.

Drop-off points for donations include the Ryde and Shanklin Salvation Army charity shops and Newport Salvation Army Centre.