A ROTARY club spread Christmas cheer over the winter break.

Maldon Rotary Club roasted chestnuts, served Christmas puddings and even enlisted Santa’s help to raise money for groups around Maldon town and beyond.

A spokesman said: “December is the busiest time for Maldon’s Rotary Club members and this year has been no exception. Hot on the heels of the fireworks display in November, we served more than 300 portions of chestnuts at the Maldon Vintage Christmas Fair.

“Even before December had begun, Santa was aboard his sleigh touring 11 locations in the Maldon district on different evenings, raising more than £5000 for local good causes bringing a smile to many faces both young and old.”

Club members were also out on chilly mornings in the high street collecting funds to help provide afternoon teas and entertainment for senior members of the community.

Maldon town mayor Flo O’Shaughnessy also ran a Christmas hamper appeal which was further supported by the club. They also paid a visit to St Peter’s Café where they have donated Christmas puddings for two years.

A spokesman added: “Manager Julie Taylor prepares many hampers for distribution during the Christmas season. This year, seven puddings were presented together with a cheque for £250 to go towards providing Christmas meals at Julie’s cafe.

“During this period, the club has provided a piano plus funds for a new fridge freezer.

“Maldon Rotary Club could not support projects like these without the generous support of our friends in the community to whom we give grateful thanks.”