ABOVE: Elizabeth Seidl was one of many volunteering at the Winsome Soup Kitchen in Lismore.
ABOVE: Elizabeth Seidl was one of many volunteering at the Winsome Soup Kitchen in Lismore. Jacklyn Wagner

Christmas cheer for Winsome

IT was all smiles, happiness, and seasonal cheer down at the Winsome yesterday for the 23rd annual Lismore Soup Kitchen Christmas Day lunch.

Hordes of people from all walks of life came down to the building for some Christmas joy with choir carols, a good meal and lots of frivolity.

Lismore Soup Kitchen president Mieke Bell said it was such a lovely morning and she was glad to see so many smiling faces among those who might not be as fortunate on this day of celebration.

"I'm just really pleased to see all the people here," she said.

Everyone gets something positive out of the day, she said, and that was clear to see, with all the smiles and lit up faces as the patrons joined in on the carols, leD by choirmaster Peter Lehner.

For the children, there was face painting by the lovely Donna Starr-Walker and balloon craft with Mr Twister, as well as a kids' area set up downstairs for all the littlies.

Sharon Dwyer, a regular soup kitchen volunteer, was down there with three of her children, revelling in the happiness that was radiating around her.

While she volunteers at the Lismore Soup Kitchen around the calendar, she always makes sure she gets to the Christmas Day lunch at least every second year.

"I just love coming here and hanging out with all the people," she said.

And so do her children, she said, with her 10-year-old daughter Rose even getting up and singing with the choir.

For the day, there was a wonderful team of about 20 volunteers working hard in the kitchen, Ms Bell said.

They were indeed very busy in the kitchen, cooking, preparing and serving a lovely Christmas meal consisting of ham, chicken, potato bake, coleslaw and salad, among other goodies.

They'd been working like busy bees since they arrived at the Winsome at 8am, and once the official choir stopped singing, it wasn't out of the ordinary to hear the chorus of Jingle Bells roaring out of the kitchen volunteers.

What was the greatest thing about being there? Some said the food, the friendship, the atmosphere, the singing and the kindness,

I think one volunteer had it right when she said, "It just gives you a really lovely feeling."



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