HUNDREDS of lives have been brightened this year by Wantage charity champ Ray Collins.

And to cap off another 12 months of fundraising events, more than 70 guests and volunteers attended this year’s Christmas dinner for the lonely and another 127 festive hampers were sent out to families and individuals.

In total Mr Collins estimated his team brought a little extra Christmas magic to some 300 children and adults after making donations to community groups throughout the year.

But the star on this year’s tree was Monday’s meal, hosted for the first time by Grove Rugby Club after the Wantage Health and Wellbeing Centre was shut in September.

The move not only rescued the dinner, but also saw rugby club players and staff lend a hand with cooking and serving on the day.

Mr Collins, who manages Peter Ledbury electricals in Wantage, said: “What a totally inspiring Christmas Day we all had.

“This is our fourth Christmas dinner for this amazing group of people. Thanks to Chris McCarthy, Roger Williams and all the members at the club for not only allowing us to use their club but for paying for the food and drinks along with Grove Tesco enabling us to keep this meal free to all the guests.

“Everyone at the club went above and beyond – Phil Connolly and his team of cooks worked tirelessly to produce a magnificent four-course dinner.”

As usual, the 50 diners were picked up from their homes between 10am and 11am by a team of volunteer drivers.

On arrival, the guests were seated and brought a beverage of their choice.

Mr Collins said a special thanks to the Harvey family, Mrs Austen and trustee Mel Breakspear who sat and chatted with our the guests to ease a few nerves.

At 12pm dinner was served: a turkey and beef dinner with all the trimmings followed by Christmas pudding.