Having already raised more than £3000 this year for charity, kind hearted, Andy King, who owns The Junction Restaurant and Sidings Bar in Widdrington Station, has made sure that charity begins at home by turning his attention to those spending Christmas Day alone.
For two busy days in the run up to Christmas, Andy will close his restaurant to the public and open it up to around 60 pensioners who live by themselves. He and his catering staff will serve festive lunches with all the trimmings; provide small gifts and even host a visit by Father Christmas much to the delight of his appreciative diners. Taxi firm Castle Taxis from Morpeth will also be on hand to ferry local diners free of charge if they don’t have their own transport.
The idea was inspired after Andy watched a TV advert for a well-known department store that highlighted the plight of the lonely at Christmas. It is estimated that around half a million pensioners will spend Christmas Day alone with many of them feeling lonely and isolated.
“We do a lot for charity throughout the year; mainly for True Heroes Racing, a charity for injured former services personnel riding British superbikes but at Christmas time, I wanted to make a difference to local people living on their own,” said Andy.
“ I, like a lot of people was moved by the sentiments behind the John Lewis TV advert and I decided I had to do something to let older members of the community know that we care about them.”
Andy is taking the caring role a step further. On Christmas Day he and his staff will be taking time out to telephone the diners to make sure that they have a friendly voice to talk to and to make sure that they are safe and warm in their homes.
“I’m hoping that this Christmas will be special for them all. They’ve all experienced many things in life and all have a story to tell. It’s easy for us with family and friends to forget that there are people out there who have no one at Christmas. I hope that The Junction and Castle Taxis will make a difference to them.”
Any one wanting to nominate neighbours or elderly people in their community who will be spending Christmas alone should call The Junction Restaurant on 01670 790888.
The special lunch days will take place on 22nd and 23rd December.