FRIENDLY residents in a tight-knit community have rallied together to ensure a family who have fallen on hard times can enjoy the Christmas season.

Carol Shambrook, 62, from Jaywick, was left heartbroken after her terminally-ill father Roger Arthur Saggers, who had bowel cancer, died in her arms last month, aged 77.

After initially being concerned as to how she would afford his funeral, Carol struggled through and eventually found a way to ensure he was given a send-off.

Following the funeral, Carol’s granddaughter Jordan, 26, and great grandson Hunter, moved in with her.

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By this point, grieving Carol’s finances and income had greatly diminished, and she was left heartbroken at not being able to give her family a happy Christmas.

“I was worried sick and hurting,” she said.

“My granddaughter and her sons were now living with me but I had no money. I couldn’t even afford a wake for my dad.

“I had no cooker, no Christmas tree, no presents, no bed and no actual bedding and it is certainly true that this year’s Christmas would have been cancelled.”

Carol then decided to reach out to Jaywick community stalwart Brad Thompson, who always tries to go above and beyond to help those in need.

After explaining the situation in which she and her family found themselves, Brad issued a call to arms to the coastal village’s tight-knit community.

Before long, Carol’s festive prayers had been answered and the true spirit of Christmas had been epitomised.

Everything from wrapped presents to a Christmas tree with decorations were dropped off at Carol’s home, as well as a cooker on which she can now cook Christmas dinner.

A delighted Carol said: “Brad has been absolutely fantastic and I thank him so much and all the people who have been helping me.

“I just cannot stop crying at everyone’s kindness. I think I need a new brain because this one just has me in tears all the time. My dad did not get the send-off he deserved, but I truly thank everyone for doing this for us.”

Brad, who helped launch a neighbourhood watch group in Jaywick earlier this year said he could not let a family knowingly go without. I just wanted to help out someone to have a Christmas and got the groups and community together to do so.”