ELDERLY residents in Weymouth and Portland got an early Christmas party and a chance to meet old friends and make new ones.

Residents from care homes across Weymouth went to the Centenary Club for festive mince pies and tea and enjoyed a panto and a singalong.

And elderly residents on Portland were treated to a traditional Christmas lunch at the Lobster Pot.

Sue Hasler, who owns Danmoor Lodge in Weymouth, said everyone had a great time at the singalong, which included classic festive hits.

They also enjoyed the panto Dick Whittington.

She said they had about 15 residents at the packed-out event involving 10 care homes at the Centenary Club.

She said: “They all seemed to enjoy it. Loads of homes come and the place is always full.

“People from sheltered housing and all the carers came.

“We are hoping to do another get-together in the spring time.”

Organiser Anna Carter said: “It was a very good communal thing. It’s quite a rare thing for people to get together like that. It was very well received.”

Over at the Lobster Pot on Portland the Island Community Action group organised a Christmas lunch for 94 elderly Portland people.

There was turkey, paper cracker hats and ukulele player Sally Vaughan entertained the group with songs and musical accompaniment.

Volunteer manager Jackie Carpenter said the group organised transport for everyone.

Following their dinner, there was a raffle and every person who attended was given a gift to take home.

Mrs Carpenter said it was a ‘good afternoon’ filled with jollity.

She said people really enjoyed the day as many don’t have family close by and it was a great excuse to meet old friends and make new ones.

She added: “It’s a small place, but it’s surprising how many people don’t see each other.

“They have a really good catch up and they get to know other people.

“We try and get as many isolated people to come along as possible.”

Manager at the Lobster Pot Natalie Summerfield said it had been a really good afternoon.

She said: “It went really well – they all enjoyed it.”

The Christmas party was so successful that a separate party was held yesterday for 15 people who could not be at the first one – where Mayor of Portland Sylvia Bradbury provided a fish and chip lunch.