Personnel from RAF Wittering have been getting into the festive spirit with young and old alike.
Earlier this month, the base hosted its Christmas lunch for senior citizens from towns and villages around the station.
Flying Officer Alexandra Close, a logistics officer who oversees Wittering’s catering, retail and leisure activities, organised the event.
She said: “Christmas can be a difficult time for the elderly, particularly if they are lonely or vulnerable. So we wrote to the parish councils and veterans’ organisations to see if they could find senior citizens who would benefit from some good food and company.”
Over 60 senior citizens arrived at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess and made their way to the dining hall. As always, RAF Wittering’s chefs prepared some beautiful turkey dinners complete with all the trimmings.
In charge of preparations was Sergeant Gareth Williams.
He said: “Making Christmas lunch for so many people means the kitchen is busy, but it’s what we do best and we have experienced and talented chefs at RAF Wittering. What makes it special for us is that it’s such a good cause.”
Just before lunch the guests were treated to some tuneful singing from the children of Wittering Primary School. Conducted by Year 6 teachers, Corrina Selby and Emma Cresswell, the children sang with visible enthusiasm, starting the afternoon off with a festive atmosphere.
Fun and games followed lunch with bingo and a raffle, with prizes donated by station personnel. Coffee and mince pies were the final treat for the senior citizens before the afternoon was brought to a well-fed and satisfying close.
The camp has also hosted its annual Christmas card competition for children at Wittering Primary School.
Every year pupils are invited to design the station’s official festive card and this year’s winner was Serina Macbeath.
The cards are sent to everyone on RAF Wittering’s list, which includes local government, charities and veterans’ organisations and dignitaries.
Serina’s cheery drawing shows two smiling snowmen complete with scarf and hat outside a red-brick building, with snowflakes falling in the background.
Group Captain Tony Keeling, the Station Commander at RAF Wittering, and his wife Bobby made the final choice.
He said: “It was a difficult decision. All the entries were excellent and children’s drawings always have a charmingly honest quality to them. Serina’s design was cheerful and Christmassy and has made a card anyone would be pleased to receive.”
A framed copy of the card was presented to Serina at a school assembly this morning.