Free Christmas meal for lonely pensioners

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A traditional British Christmas dinner. Pic © Wikimedia commons

A traditional British Christmas dinner. Pic © Wikimedia commons

A Prescot woman has organised a free Christmas Day meal for elderly people across Liverpool.

The event will be held at Cargo Restaurant in Alexandra Tower on Liverpool’s Princes Parade, and has been organised by local 26-year-old Faye Westhead, who was motivated by the “unbearable thought” of elderly people spending Christmas alone.

It was first publicised on Facebook late on Saturday evening, and immediately Faye was inundated with messages of support, with 50 guests and 60 volunteers signing up in the first 24 hours.

Cargo Restaurant will be able to host up to 100 guests in total, and will provide a free Christmas dinner alongside many forms of entertainment for the attendees, including raffles and a game of bingo.

Faye’s first thought was to volunteer with the elderly on Christmas day, but when she found her opportunities limited, she was forced to take matters into her own hands.

She told JMU Journalism: “I saw the John Lewis advert and it got me thinking about people who may actually be spending Christmas alone, especially the elderly. This gave me the idea to organise something myself to make sure that people can spend Christmas in the company of others.”

Guests are required to register for the event and Faye’s mother has been delivering leaflets to churches to ensure the word is spread as far as possible.

A specially-designated driver and minibus have also been organised to ensure any guest from across the city is provided with transport to the venue, if necessary.

Faye described how overwhelmed she was by the response she received, and her excitement for the event, saying “The response has been absolutely crazy. Things will begin at around mid-day, and each guest will get a three-course meal, along with a free raffle ticket which will take place after the dinner. Fingers crossed it will be a success.”

About Michael Henry, JMU Journalism