A charity is reaching out to make sure that people in Spen don’t have to face the prospect of spending Christmas alone.
The Salvation Army in Heckmondwike will offer a helping hand on Christmas Day by hosting a free lunch for anyone worried about having to get through the day without family and friends.
The charity, in Barracks Street, is wanting to be put in touch with people whose family have passed on or live far away. Major Sharen Furlong, a church leader and minister in Heckmondwike who is helping to organise the event, said: “Being alone on Christmas Day is especially hard.
“The media constantly promotes Christmas as a time to spend with family and friends, a time for fun and merriment.
“So for those with family either far away or passed on, loneliness becomes especially intense. We are hoping that providing a free lunch will mean people can have a good meal and lots of fun at the same time.” They ideally want a social worker, housing officer, community warden or support worker to refer someone if they wish to attend.
However, a friend or neighbour can call the Salvation Army too if they feel somebody could benefit from the service.
And the charity is calling on people and businesses in the town to donate to the cause in the weeks leading up to the big day. “We can all make Christmas a better time for those that would otherwise be alone,” Major Furlong said.
“By adding a donation to our lunch to your Christmas shopping list you can make a difference to local people who, otherwise, might not enjoy Christmas this year.”
It is estimated that around 300,000 older people spent Christmas alone last year.
If you think someone would enjoy the community lunch, call Alison on 07741483687 or Michelle on 07814370653.