A RINGWOOD caterer turned disaster into triumph and organised what must be one of the south coast's biggest ever pop-ups after she was left with masses of food after the cancellation of Ellingham Show.

Teresa Sillars' catering firm South Coast Parties swung into action after she was told at 6pm on Thursday that the Saturday event was cancelled due to the unseasonable storm.

"It was our first Ellingham Show and we were really excited but by the time it was cancelled most of the work had been done," she said.

Teresa's team had prepared home-made cakes to accompany morning coffee, a lunch including roast lamb, beef and poached salmon, with salads and puddings, and scones for afternoon tea.

"I couldn't see all that food go to waste and so I contacted Greyfriars Community Centre and asked if we could use some of their space and we advertised it on Facebook" she said.

Even Teresa was astonished at how quickly news spread.

"We took around 300 bookings and we had less than 24 hours to turn it round but we did," she said. "In the end I had to switch the phone off because it was chaos with people calling to book."

Greyfriars put up two of their caretakers to help Teresa's team of waitresses and two chefs and in the end they set up seven separate restaurants including one in a committee room.

"What made it even more amazing was that we were also doing a wedding that day," she said.

South Coast Parties asked people to give a donation for their lunch and ended up raising £2,028.

"Because people had paid for the lunch at the show we were able to hand all this back to Ellingham Show to help with costs and for their charity," she said. "All the food had been paid for and I just could not see it go to waste. It was insane, but in a good way, and I am so proud of my hardworking team."

Greyfriars Community Centre was equally delighted. "The centre was buzzing," it said. "It was a real example of our amazing community pulling together once again."