Community generosity commended as 104 celebrate Christmas at the Hub in Cookstown

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The Hub’s Carol Doey said she has been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community in relation to the centre’s annual Christmas dinner.

The event, which is open to anyone who would otherwise be at home alone or just wants to join in, marked a record year with 104 people showing up for the all-singing, all-dancing festivities.

Justin was popular with the volunteers

Justin was popular with the volunteers

But Carol told the Mail she couldn’t have pulled it off without all of her fantastic volunteers, who cooked, served and even delivered dinner to those who couldn’t make it.

The dinner, which was funded entirely through donations, has grown from 48 people in its first year, three years ago, to over 100.

As well as a slap-up meal, guests at the event were treated to music from the very talented Justin McGurk, Una Clarke, Donal Canavan and Ryan McGarrity who all gave up their free time to belt out a few tunes for those keen to jive.

Volunteers on the day included locals, the Hub team and BBC Radio Ulster star Lynette Fay, who was on hand to serve up meals.

Donal Canavan and Ryan McGarrity entertain the crowd

Donal Canavan and Ryan McGarrity entertain the crowd

Carol told the Mail: “The first year we were disappointed in 42 because we knew there was more than 42 out there.

“This year social services were our main people, who got people to us.

“It grew... It has organically grown and social services have been really good this year.

“We gave them their tea home with them, and they all got their turkey sandwich and Christmas cake,” she added.

Justin McGurk got the revellers dancing

Justin McGurk got the revellers dancing

But Carol said without the community, the Hub couldn’t have done it.

“Our community bought every single thing, and not only that we had money donations coming in - Thank you,” she added.