A community group in Stanford-le-Hope is once again planning a Christmas Day dinner for residents who would otherwise be alone over the festive period.

Friends of Hardie Park held their first community Christmas last year, providing free transport, gifts and entertainment for 32 guests, who ate, drank and socialised together with a merry band of local volunteers.

Rob Groves, chief executive of Friends of Hardie Park, said: “There are many people locally who will spend Christmas Day alone. There are some families for whom Christmas is a struggle.

“We Friends of Hardie Park want to change that.

“Having already outgrown our own building, we are teaming up with Fresh Hope Community of Victoria Road Chapel to host the meal again.”