A FAMILY bonding charity held a Christmas lunch to bring 'vulnerable and isolated' families together.

The award-winning Balsam Family Project laid on the two-course Christmas lunch at Didcot Civic Hall last Saturday.

Mayor of Didcot, Jackie Billington, joined trustees, volunteers and staff to cook and serve turkey with all the trimmings to about 175 people from Didcot and the surrounding areas.

Balsam also teamed up with other local charities and businesses – including Secret Santa Oxfordshire and Didcot Foodbank – to hand out wrapped gifts to all and ensure families went home with festive hampers.

Alex Walker, Balsam founder and project manager, said: “For a charity that aims to bring families – and family members – closer together, nothing could be more rewarding than looking out on a sea of happy faces and watching people enjoy being with and around loved ones at Christmas time.

“We believe in the value of every adult and child and seek to encourage a sense of worth and value that parents can pass on to their own children.”

John Hobbs, lead singer and guitarist with local band The Gangbusters, performed a Christmas set with daughters Julie and Joanne, while a children’s entertainer from Oxford Entertainments entertained the children.