Can you help lonely with festive spirit?

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Christmas will come early 
for up to 100 lonely Boston residents who are being treated to a free festive lunch and entertainment by the sea – and your help is needed to get them there.

Elderly people who might otherwise face the festive season at home on their own are being invited to join a massive community effort in Skegness in which 1,000 elderly residents will come together over a week for one of the biggest celebrations along the coast.

Glyn Ettridge is the real-life Santa Claus who has taken on the challenge, following a successful Christmas dinner he organised in Chapel St Leonards last year when he was chairman of the residents’ association.

Mr Ettridge has been at the end of a hotline to happiness for weeks, gathering donations from businesses and charitable organisations. As a result the beautiful ballroom at Grosvenor House Hotel on the seafront has been booked for a hot Christmas dinner of turkey with all the trimmings and pudding, followed by cabaret entertainment and a game of bingo.

Mr Ettridge said: “After last year I realised there must be hundreds of elderly people who face a lonely Christmas and set about doing something about it.

“I am delighted to be able to invite readers of the Boston Standard to join the party.

“As you can imagine we totally rely on people’s generosity to be able to hold our parties and although the food and entertainment is organised, we desperately need help with transport, especially a coach firm or minibus company who might be able to spare a few hours to bring the elderly some joy.

“All drivers or carers will be invited to join the party, which promises to be one they will never forget.”

Among the sponsors are Blue Anchor Leisure, Hardy’s Animal Farm and the Skegness lodges of the RAOB (the Buffs), as well as local businesses, supermarkets, Tesco and the charity Buckingham Emergency Food.

The meal will start at 12.30pm with guests heading home around 3.30pm.

Anyone who would like to go or could help with transport, please call our reporter Chrissie Redford, who is helping to organise the trip for the Boston Standard, on 07774326173 or email chrissie.redford@jpress.co.uk.

l Are you doing anything for the community this Christmas? Email daniel.jaines@jpress.co.uk