COMMUNITY and holiday spirit collided on Christmas Day at the One Big Table community lunch.
The event was created by community groups, community members and community businesses after months of planning and brainstorming.
It was decided the best way to combat a year marked by financial strain, loneliness and isolation was an inclusive Christmas Day lunch open to all members of the Surf Coast community.
Trish Curry, one of the organisers said it “was a wonderful day”, with a great atmosphere.
“The weather was beautiful – it was perfect,” she said.
“There were nearly 60 people there, 12 volunteers and 15 kids running and playing, having a ball,
“Santa came too and the kids got plenty of presents. There were very generous donations from the community.”
Ms Curry said attendees received a hamper of food for lunch, complete with vegetarian options, salad and plum pudding or pavlova for dessert, and rounded out with little box of fruit and chocolate.
“We had lots of help from volunteers with cleaning, setting up, decorating, driving and serving food, Torquay Rotary prepared the space by giving it a good clean prior to the lunch.
Rhonda Anchen, a Rotary member, said the ambitious event was a powerful display of community.
“We only played a very small part – Torquay Community House, the Angels and Feed Me Surf Coast did most of the coordination and planning,” she said.
“These events are absolutely critical for our community. It is great that a multitude of organisations were involved.
“Through my work with Torquay Community House and also with Rotary, I see first hand the benefit of community groups getting together and trying ambitious events.
“They come off because everyone is working together.”