Showing kindness to others at Christmas

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Christmas preparations have been in full swing at the Scarborough Salvation Army headquarters in Alma Parade.

Volunteers have been busy wrapping presents following donations of toys, toiletries and other goods.

Salvation Army.Wrapping goodies.Glenys Moxton,Catherine Brown,Janice Wood,Lorna Weston,Jacqueline Harris.Picture Richard Ponter 135102

Salvation Army.Wrapping goodies.Glenys Moxton,Catherine Brown,Janice Wood,Lorna Weston,Jacqueline Harris.Picture Richard Ponter 135102

Final plans are also coming together for Christmas Day, with 100 people expected to join staff and volunteers for a festive lunch.

Lieutenant Lorna Weston, who came to Scarborough earlier this year with her husband Richard, said: “It’s our first Christmas here and the support of the public has been absolutely amazing.

“We’ve had so many donations of toys, food and money to put toward the Christmas lunch. It’s just been fantastic.

“We’ve got 100 people coming on Christmas Day and they’ll all get a gift and a packed tea to take home as well.”

She added that this year, the Salvation Army is also providing family hampers, so that families that would not have been able to afford a Christmas dinner can enjoy one together at home.

They also make sure the children in the family have a gift of a toy each to play with.

Lorna said: “The people who come to us on Christmas Day tend to be homeless people and those who are elderly or vulnerable.

“We provide turkey and all the trimmings and we set up the tables with decorations and crackers to make it nice and festive.

“The mayor is coming to help out on the day too.”

She added that more than 40 people had been in touch about volunteering on the day, which was such an overwhelming response that they could not actually accommodate everyone who came forward.

Lorna said: “There is such strong support in Scarborough. Lots of local businesses have offered help, as well as individuals.”

Richard Weston also gave his thanks to everyone who has helped during Christmas, but also asked people to continue their kindness throughout the year.

He said: “We must stress that there are another 364 days a year when people need support. It’s an all-year round issue.”

Richard explained that the food bank is going well and that when people come into the cafe for a hot meal, they tend to go over and have a chat to see what kind of support they need.

Support on the run-up to Christmas has also been “overwhelming” for the Salvation Army Band, which has been playing in the town centre.

Richard said: “We’ve had some lovely conversations with people. So many people have come over and said ‘it’s Christmas now because I’ve heard the Salvation Army band playing carols!’

“We’ve been out collecting and every penny goes back into supporting Scarborough people.”

Looking towards the New Year, the Salvation Army has lots of plans and ideas in the pipeline.

Richard said: “We’ve got lots of things in mind about how we can support the community.

“We’re working closely with the community services director at our headquarters in Leeds to see what more we can offer.

“It may involve working with children in poverty or extending our work with homeless people.

“We want to do as much as much as we can to give something back to the community.”

People are invited for worship every Sunday at 11am and 5pm. To find out more, please call (01723) 378603.