Community spirit was alive in Brookeborough on Christmas Day as people from all different backgrounds came together to enjoy Christmas dinner.

The Brookeborough Community Christmas was a concept that originated from Nathan and Kerry Johnston, who were planning to open up their house on Christmas Day to those in the community who had nowhere to go or no-one to celebrate with. As the numbers grew, it was decided that the community Christmas dinner would take place in Brookeborough Elim church hall.

"It went really well, it was really good. It served the purpose and everyone really enjoyed it. Some people said it was the best Christmas they’ve had," shared Nathan.

In total, 35 people attended on the day. "It was a really varied group of people, we had everyone from kids to the elderly. We had some single mothers, we had some people who were foreign nationals, and some with special needs. It was nearly every category, it wasn’t one specific group. I thought originally it might be more elderly, lonely people but it was more social needs in a way," Nathan explained.

"Obviously because there was quite a few people that didn’t know each other, we were wondering how that would go but it went really well actually. Everyone mixed in and everyone sort of worked together to set stuff up and take things down. There was about 15 volunteers but some of those volunteers would have actually been coming themselves anyway. They were fit to come help and be part of it," he added.

Sharing that his highlight from the day was "just to hearing the feedback afterwards", Nathan said: "One person said it was the best Christmas they had ever had, and someone else said it was the only thing they had to look forward to over Christmas. I’d say that was the highlight of it for me, that actually it did do what we wanted it to do."

Nathan also noted the generosity of the local community, explaining that they had to turn away a lot of offers of help because there were so many: "There were a lot of people from all over Fermanagh who wanted to help but we didn’t have enough jobs for them on the day."

When asked if they would consider hosting a similar Christmas Day event again, Nathan commented: "Yeah we would definitely do it again."

He continued: "There was a number of people rang to get dinners brought to them but we weren’t really running a meals on wheels kind of operation, we were just trying to create a community of people all together so maybe it’s something we might look at for next year, to put that on for people who are house bound."

"Again it will come down to the team, it takes a good team to put it on. If I could get a team again I would certainly think about doing it again next year. It was all positive, it was something kind of different, even for us as a family so it was good," Nathan concluded.