MORE than 100 festive dinners were served up by 50 volunteers who gave up their Christmas Days to collect gusts and visit homes and serve food.

Salvation Army helpers delivered 60 meals to homes in Braintree, Witham, Bocking, Bradwell, Cressing and Rayne while 70 guests enjoyed their turkey dinners at the Rayne Road Community Centre.

Organiser David Mann said: "We were overwhelmed by offers of help and support, and in common with many charities and organisation at Christmas, again had to put off some potential volunteers, which is a hard thing to do.

"We were however able to accommodate all those who wanted a meal, which is the important thing.

"Financial support for our Christmas programme, which also included help to families in Braintree, Witham and Halstead with toys and food, was very generous.

"We are particularly indebted to Tesco, who allowed us to collect at their Marks Farm, Great Notley and Dunmow stores - a really big help, and Argos who assisted with a toy appeal.

"Several smaller local firms and organisations donated food or money and many individuals too - all in all an outstanding community effort yet again, for which we are very grateful."