'Great disappointment' - Charity cancels Christmas sit-down meal

Dinner is served at the annual Open Christmas in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Belinda Jayne Roll

Dinner is served at the annual Open Christmas in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Belinda Jayne Roll - Credit: Belinda Jayne Roll

A traditional Christmas event for homeless and vulnerable people on the coast has been cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Great Yarmouth Open Christmas meal is normally held on Christmas Day.

The event, organised wholly by volunteers with the help of donations, has run for 21 years and provides a free Christmas meal and festive cheer for people who would otherwise be on their own or have to go without on December 25.

But Michael Hitchins, on behalf of the Great Yarmouth Open Christmas committee, has announced that the annual sit-down meal will not take place this year.

Pandora Pape and John Kirk with their dog at Great Yarmouth's Open Christmas

Pandora Pape and John Kirk with their dog at Great Yarmouth's Open Christmas - Credit: Archant

"Alternative plans that we had in place unfortunately failed due to the unprecedented and fluid situation we have all found ourselves in," he said.

The charity, in partnership with Better Together Norfolk and Great Yarmouth Minster, will instead distribute Christmas hampers on December 23 and 24 to many of those people who would usually attend the event.

Hampers will also be available for collection from Great Yarmouth Minster on those days between 10am and 12pm.

A group of people ready for their Christmas dinner at Great Yarmouth's open Christmas

A group of people ready for their Christmas dinner at Great Yarmouth's open Christmas - Credit: Archant

For more information about Great Yarmouth Open Christmas 2020 visit its website: www.openchristmasgreatyarmouth.org