With a sprinkling of festive cheer volunteers are welcoming people who are alone over Christmas to enjoy a meal and some company.

Thanks to Ageing Better Middlesbrough’s Community Development team, its project Faithfully Ageing Better and church communities, there is a choice of three free Christmas Day lunches.

Faithfully Ageing Better is a partnership between Ageing Better Middlesbrough and Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland. It support churches to work with Ageing Better Middleborough to strengthen communities and find ways to tackle loneliness and social isolation in people who are over 50.

Ageing Better Middlesbrough is supported by the Big Lottery Fund using National Lottery funding.

Faithfully Ageing Better worker, Kate Wells, said: “We know feelings of loneliness and social isolation can be intensified at Christmas, especially if people are living alone.

“That is why churches across our communities have opened their doors to people on 25 December for food, friendship and warmth.

“We also want to say a massive thank you to our volunteers who are already working hard to make sure as many people as possible feel part of something special this Christmas.”

The Christmas Day meals are being held at:

  • Salvation Army Hall, Admirals Avenue, Pallister Park, Middlesbrough, TS3 8ET, at 12.30pm. To book or volunteer call 01642 210721
  • Middlesbrough Community Church, St Aidan’s Centre, Clifton Street, Middlesbrough, TS1 4BZ, at 1pm. To book or volunteer call Margaret on 01642 816527 or Vicky 07515 808648.
  • St Mary’s Cathedral Hall, Dalby Way, Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, TS8 0TW, at midday. To book call Linda on 01642 232220 or 07981 203997.

On Boxing Day there is a meal at St Barnabas Church Hall, St Barnabas, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, TS5 6JR, at midday. This has been organised by Westbrook Estate Agents, Go Limitless Web Design and is supported by other local businesses. To book call 07468 476507.