The run-up to Christmas was busy for local health and wellbeing charity Westbank Community Health and Care, which had a full calendar of events for members of its community and its team.

The festive celebrations got off to a heart-warming start when Year 2 children from Exeter Pre-Prep School visited Westbank’s Day Centre at Exminster to sing a melody of Christmas songs for regular clients.

The following day, the Royal Oak in Exminster kindly hosted a 3-course meal for fifty of Westbank’s clients to mark the end of a year of support from the pub.

Westbank’s Head of Fundraising and Marketing, Katie Elliott, who attended the Christmas lunch, said: ‘The Royal Oak pulled out all the stops again this year, providing our clients with a delicious meal, much enjoyed and appreciated by all who attended.

‘The pub was beautifully decorated, and the food was plentiful!

‘Many thanks to Mel and the team for making it such a lovely event.

‘Thanks also to all our wonderful volunteers who came along to help.

‘One of our volunteers donated a beautiful Christmas hamper that was raffled off over lunch and raised over £100 to support Westbank’s work in the community.

‘The icing on the Christmas cake was a visit by the Year 6 choir from Exminster Community Primary School who dressed in novelty jumpers and antlers to regale us with Christmas songs.’

Westbank’s staff and volunteers also donned festive clothing for the event and a Christmas Jumper Day earlier in December, baking biscuits in the new Community Cookery School and taking part in a Christmas Quiz.

The team also put together gifts and food hampers to distribute within the community after receiving generous donations from local businesses and organisations; these include Exeter Food Action, who have donated toys for local families; Lush Exeter, who supplied toiletry items for Christmas hampers for the local community and Wales and West Utilities, who donated warm hats and gloves.

These were given to vulnerable local people through the charity’s Community Larders in Exminster and Starcross and through its warm space project, Warmwell, at Farmhouse Rise in Exminster.