Operation Santa off to great start thanks to generosity of Crawley people

Chris Oxlade (centre, back row) with colleagues and clients at Crawley Open House with some of the donations

Chris Oxlade (centre, back row) with colleagues and clients at Crawley Open House with some of the donations

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Operation Santa is rolling on, with generous donations from several businesses and Crawley residents.

Once again the Crawley Observer is working with Crawley Open House to put on a delicious Christmas Day meal for those in need.

More than 60 people joined the festivities at the day centre in Stephenson Way, Three Bridges last year, and organisers are hoping for more success this year.

Charlie Arratoon, director of Crawley Open House, said: “Once again we have been overwhelmed by the huge response from people and companies across Crawley and beyond.

“We can’t thank people enough for taking time to support the homeless and disadvantaged at this time of year.

“The kind donations arriving at Crawley Open House daily make a huge difference not just for Christmas Day, but right through the festive season.”

As well as kind-hearted members of the public, donations have come in from a number of local businesses.

Copthorne London Gatwick and Copthorne Effingham hotels are providing desserts for the meal, with Tesco Three Bridges donating other dinner essentials.

Tesco store manager, Gary Powis, said: “We’re proud to be supporting Crawley Open House again this year and hope that our donation will make a difference to people in our community on Christmas Day.”

The Crawley Lions Club have also raised money for Operation Santa.

Crawley Open House provides support throughout the year for those suffering the effects of homelessness, unemployment, and other forms of social exclusion.

Chris Oxlade, hostel manager at Crawley Open House, said: “For years Operation Santa has given homeless and disadvantaged people a helping hand at Christmas thanks to the generosity of Crawley Observer readers.

“With the success of this year’s appeal, it means that helping hand can reach out way into the new year.”

Members of the public wanting to get involved can bring donations to Riverside House in Stephenson Way.

Anything from turkey and vegetables to soft drinks and crackers would be appreciated, along with clothes and blankets as the weather gets colder.