Big Festive Feasts spread joy to those who need it most in Wainfleet and Skegness

A massive community effort has seen two Big Christmas Feasts take place for the elderly and vulnerable.

Wainfleet Uke entertaining guests at the Wainfleet Methodist Church Big Christmas Feast.

The annual events, sponsored by the Skegness Standard, were once again threatened by the pandemic.

However, volunteers were determined that, after last year's disappointing cancellation, they should go ahead in line with the latest Covid-19 guidelines.

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This year the free festive meals were held at the Storehouse in Skegness and Wainfleet Methodist Church.

Food donated by Buckingham Emergency Foods arriving at RG & SR Oglesbee of Boston. The Rotary Club of Skegness collected the donations for the Big Christmas Feasts at Wainfleet Methodist Church and the Storehouse in Skegness.

Around 70 guests at each location sat down on Wednesday, December 15, to a home-cooked three-course meal, followed by mince pies and tea and coffee.

A number of guests who were unable to attend at Wainfleet were also provided with a 'meals on wheels' service so they didn't miss out.

Amongst the sponsors this year were the Rotary Club of Skegness, Tesco of Skegness, Couns Billy and Danny Brookes, who provided tablecloths and crackers for the Storehouse, the Co-op in Wainfleet, the Woolpack in Wainfleet, who cooked the turkeys, and Bell's Gardening Outlet of Benington and Lyndhurst Garden Centre.

As well as a delicious meal, each location also has its own festive entertainment, with ukulele band Wainfleet Uke raising spirits at he Methodist Church and internationally renowned vocalist Aday appearing at the Storehouse, sponsored by the New Park Club.

Rotary Club members Tony Tye and Bob Field and friends Pete and Bev who collected the food to take to Wainfleet and Skegness.

This is the ninth year that the Skegness Standard newspaper company in partnership with Buckingham Emergency Foods has sponsored festive meals around our different publications.

The generosity of thousands of donors in the Eastern region has provided those in greatest need with 12,000 festive meals and 100,000 healthy, warming meals during the bleak winter months.

In addition, 96 charities, based in the region, will collect food from Roudham Farm.

Many tonnes of food donated by the farming community were supplemented by 2.5 tonnes of turkey, 1000 kg of bacon,13,000 sausages, 17,000 eggs, 9,000 servings of Christmas pudding, and 5 tonnes of sugar collected by over 50 Norfolk schools.

Bob Field of the Rotary Club of Skegness delivering food to Sue Alldread, of Wainfleet Methodist Church.

The four-day distribution of meals began at Roudham Farm near Thetford on Monday, when members of the Rotary Club of Skegness headed to RG & SR Oglesbee of Boston, to collect the food allocated for our events.

From there Rotary Club members Tony Tye and Bob Field and friends Pete and Bev set off to Wainfleet Methodist Church and the Storehouse in Skegness, where volunteers were waiting to start prepping for the events and getting the venues looking festive.

The event at the Storehouse was opened by the Mayor of Skegness Coun Trevor Burnham, who praised the volunteers and everyone who had contributed to the event.

Bamidele Akomolaf, of Lunch Box 5000 at the Storehouse, welcomed guests and said she was delighted with the turnout.

A small part of the pile of food ready for volunteers at the Storehouse in Skegness.

"It was such a joy and pleasure to witness the young and old of Skegness enjoying good Christmas food and loving the entertainment, dancing and even making music requests," she said.

"Thank you to the 15 strong team of volunteers over three days that put this together and the sponsors headed by the Skegness Standard.

"The comments from the community were very positive."

Sue Alldread, of Wainfleet Methodist Church, said it was a massive relief that they had been able to go ahead with Covid 19 guidance after last year's cancellation.

"I would like to thank all the volunteers for their wonderful work to make the community happen and everyone who contributed with food and donations," she said.

"The tree provided by Bell's was a wonderful addition to the Christmas tree festival and the poinsettias for guests were beautiful.

A trolley load of food was donated by Tesco of Skegness for the fest at the Sstorehouse.

"I would also like to thank the Skegness Standard and particularly Chrissie Redford for her hard work to allow us to put on the event - without that it would not happen.

"We are already looking forward to next year's event, when hopefully it will not be so restricted."

The Skegness Standard would also like to thank everyone who sponsored and supported this year's events and helped them to go ahead in spite of the difficult times we continue to live in.

We would especially like to thank the amazing volunteers who worked harder than ever to spread some festive cheer to those who need it most.

As one volunteer commented on seeing the happy guests: "We were all smiling behind our masks."

The Co-op in Wainfleet donated additional items for the feast at the Methodist Church.
Boxes of poinsettias from Bell's Gardening Outlet heading for the feast at Wainfleet Methodist C Church.
Lyndhurst Garden Centre donated cyclamen to add to the Christmas atmosphere at the Storehouse in Skegness.