An incredible show of generosity from Fleetwood folk has ensured an annual Christmas dinner for people in need has been able to go ahead after it faced a sad end.
Just a few weeks ago the Mustard Seed Group, a support group which provides a hot meals service at two churches in the town, was in danger of folding.
But donations of tinned food, sacks of vegetables and bread, as well as cash donations, saved the day.
The volunteers who run the scheme, which takes place at St Peter’s Church on Monday evenings and St David’s on Thursday evenings, said funds were so low they would otherwise have struggled to provide the service before the year’s end.
This meant the annual festive lunch, which provides 50 people with a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings, was also at risk.
It came during a year when the hot meals service has been busier than ever, sometimes being attended by up to 60 people.
The response in Fleetwood has been truly amazing and kept Christmas going
But the desperate message was heeded by big-hearted individuals, groups and businesses in the town.
And thanks to the donations, the Mustard Seed Group’s valiant weekly efforts have now been saved until the end of the year – and beyond.
On Monday, 10 volunteers were able to serve their annual Christmas meal to people who were lonely, homeless or simply struggling to cope.
Fleetwood MP Cat Smith also attended the event.
There was soup, turkey dinner, gateau and cream, mince pies and tea and coffee. And Santa was even on hand to give everyone a present.
Volunteer Hilary Craig said: “The Christmas meal has been brilliant this year and we can’t thank people enough for their help over the last few weeks.
“The response in Fleetwood has been truly amazing and kept Christmas going.”
Father John Hall, vicar at St Peter’s and St David’s who supports the group, said: “People’s kindheartedness has been quite overwhelming.
“It’s heart-warming to witness how much people want to help other people, be it the volunteers themselves or those who have helped them.”
And Mary Hargreaves, one of the people who was served the festive meal, said: “It’s been really good. Everyone’s had a great time.”
Among those who helped the group were Fleetwood Rotary Club, Fleetwood and Cleveleys Lions, the Home Bakery and Geoff’s Fruit and Veg.