Kind-hearted Crawley folk come up trumps to help the homeless this Christmas

Chris Oxlade and Charlie Arratoon (centre back row) with local companies that have contibuted to the Crawley Open House Christmas celebrations. Pic Steve Robards  SR1528934 SUS-151221-191005001
Chris Oxlade and Charlie Arratoon (centre back row) with local companies that have contibuted to the Crawley Open House Christmas celebrations. Pic Steve Robards SR1528934 SUS-151221-191005001

You lovely people! You have done it again - here at the Crawley Observer we asked you to dig deep into your pockets to help those in need this Christmas - and you’ve done us proud!

While most of us in Crawley look forward to the festive period as a time of feasting and fun, many are not so lucky. Not only do they miss out on Yuletide merry-making, but some do not even have a roof over their heads.

Les Flanagan from Flannagan's Butchers, Crawley Down give turkeys to Charlie Arratoon, and Chris Oxlade for Crawley's Open House. Pic Steve Robards  SR1528910 SUS-151221-190942001

Les Flanagan from Flannagan's Butchers, Crawley Down give turkeys to Charlie Arratoon, and Chris Oxlade for Crawley's Open House. Pic Steve Robards SR1528910 SUS-151221-190942001

But once more the Crawley Observer teamed up with the charity Crawley Open House this year in an appeal to help give the town’s homeless a Christmas to remember - and you have responded in spades.

Each year the Open House in Stephenson Way, Three Bridges, provides a sumptuous Christmas dinner for around 60 homeless people.

A band of volunteers rally round to prepare and cook the meal on Christmas Day to bring a touch of festive cheer to those in need. But the group relies on donations of food to provide the meal. And that’s where the Crawley Observer stepped in to ask YOU to help. And you have.

We have had donations of everything from starters, turkey, vegetables, Christmas puddings, crackers, party hats, decorations and more.

And that’s not all. We have had scores of donations of socks, sleeping bags, clothes and toiletries. Kind-hearted souls have been helping out each year since our Operation Santa Christmas Dinner Appeal was first launched in 2004.And now you have done it all again. Thanks to your help, we will ensure a warm and happy Christmas for people who would otherwise spend the most special of days hungry and alone.

Chris Oxlade, Open House trustee and former Radio Mercury presenter - who has been involved in the appeal from the start - said this week: “We’re absolutely gobsmacked at the response. People always get behind the Crawley Observer appeal every year for Open House. We would like to give a heart-felt thanks to every single person and every single company that is helping the homeless this year have a better Christmas.”

Among those who have helped are: Flanagan Butchers in Crawley Down who are providing turkeys and pigs in blankets; Crawley Chiropractic Centre who have raised £200 from customers and staff; Tesco’s in Three Bridges who are providing fruit and vegetables, table cloths and crackers.

Ben Palmer Lighting Crawley, have made a cash donation to the appeal, along with D&T Property building contractors and Tilgate Bakery. The Europa Hotel is providing crackers and decorations and the Copthorne Hotel is providing all the Christmas desserts.

Our thanks to one and all.