Working together is definitely the recipe for success after a local supermarket, housing association, hostel for the homeless and St Paul’s church partnered to bring some festive cheer for residents living near the city centre.

Residents of Fortis Living and those living in flats near St Paul’s tucked into a two-course community lunch at the church after it teamed up with the housing association, St Paul’s Hostel and the nearby Asda store to lay on the community banquet.

Chefs from St Paul’s hostel spent a day preparing the slap up Christmas meal which was provided free to nearly 50 local people on Saturday 12 December.

The Asda store in St Martin’s Gate covered the cost of the event which proved extremely popular and is set to become an annual favourite for local folk.

“We simply wanted to show local people how much we care for them and it was great to see how willing and eager Asda, Fortis Living and St Paul’s Hostel were to make this happen,” said Dot Burnett, manager of Citycare at St Paul’s Church, which runs a variety of community programmes. “We loved having our neighbours for the banquet and we hope this will become an annual event. Of course, we couldn’t have done it without the help and support of Asda, Fortis Living and St Paul’s Hostel, along with the team of volunteer waiters and washer-uppers from the church,” she added.

“It was a fantastic evening and they all seemed to enjoy themselves, especially during a festive sing-along we arranged for them at the end of the meal.”

The team behind the event have had such positive feedback that plans are already being made to repeat the event next year.