THE Christmas period is a time of enjoying with friends and family, but for some it can also be a difficult and lonely time.

It’s for this reason that a local Ammanford church has arranged free dinners every year since the very first one in the 1990s and they have gone from strength to strength ever since.

Ammanford Pensioners Hall opened its doors on Christmas Day to people of all ages and backgrounds from the town and surrounding villages who would have been spending the festive celebrations alone. Similar events have been held in other parts of the county and further afield.

This shows the true Christmas spirit with people giving up their own time to help others less fortunate and make this time of year happier for them.

Those in the community who were not able to afford a full dinner were provided with a free three-course meal with all the trimmings – including soup, turkey, choice of dessert and tea and coffee. The alternative on Tuesday lunchtime would have been an empty home and perhaps an empty plate. There was also free transport arranged to and from the hall for anyone that had no other way of travelling.

Organised by members of Ammanford Evangelical Church for over 20 years, the Community Christmas Day meal has become very popular with many people returning year after year.

These events cannot run without support from volunteers and over 40 helpers contributed towards a great day in 2018. The tasks included serving, cooking, driving, shopping, setting up the hall, washing up or engaging with guests. It was a great team effort.

The meal in Ammanford saw around 90 people, including first time guests, get together to enjoy each other’s company whilst eating food and singing carols. Each person was also given a gift, a Christmas card and raffle prizes to wish them a very Merry Christmas.

Guests were treated to a brilliant puppet show presentation provided by Stepp Up West Wales Puppets based in Lampeter.

Sammy Davies, Pastor of Ammanford Evangelical Church reflected on the recent event and commented: “Every year it’s an absolute joy to organise the Christmas Day meal to show that there’s plenty of love and care in our community. This year we’ve had lots of new guests and a tremendous number of volunteers.”

“It really goes to show that there’s a need and a great willingness to meet that need.”

The event will be back again on Christmas Day 2019.

Merry Christmas / Nadolig Llawen

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