Christmas has come early for many of Southampton’s senior citizens.

Southampton FC’s official charity Saints Foundation teamed up with Hampshire-based housebuilder Bargate Homes to host the biggest free event for over 60s in the city this Christmas.

Nearly 300 older people enjoyed a cracking Christmas dinner with games and entertainment, all completely free, at the ninth annual Senior Saints Christmas Party, held at St Mary’s Stadium.

Daily Echo: Women enjoying Senior Saints Christmas Party

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Guests were served a delicious turkey roast with all the trimmings.

A host of Saints legends from the 1976 FA Cup winning squad also joined in the festivities, which included a round of Christmas-themed games, raffle, Christmas songs and secret Santa exchange.

The Senior Saints Christmas Party is a landmark event in the Senior Saints calendar, and this year’s was the biggest ever.

Mark White, managing director of Bargate Homes, said: “Christmas is a time of year when many elderly can feel lonely and isolated, but this event has been jolly, merry and encompasses everything Christmas should be about."

Daily Echo: Secret Santa exchange at Senior Saints Christmas Party

Senior Saints is a free programme for over 60s in Southampton, run by Saints Foundation, the official charity of Southampton FC.

There are 12 active sessions run across the city every week, including circuits, seated chair exercise, wellbeing walks and walking sport.

Sessions also have an important social element with tea and chat offered post-activities, to reduce the social isolation experienced by many older people.

Paul Hedges, Saints Foundation Health Projects Manager, added: “For many of the attendees, this will be the only Christmas celebration they get this year. Isolation and loneliness is an epidemic in our older communities and Senior Saints is all about establishing vital connections between people."

Senior Saints is just one of the projects run by Saints Foundation, which supports people in need throughout Southampton, providing life-changing opportunities to help our city and its communities thrive.

Using the power of the Saints badge, they work across five main areas - health, education, gender equality, employability and pathways - with the aim of levelling up the playing field.