Silver Birch Foods are one of many businesses taking a stand to help out the lonely during the festive season.
The local catering company have set up a Christmas Day charity dinner for those without anyone to spend the holidays with.
The event is taking place on Christmas day at The Umbrella centre, Canterbury with an expected 150 people attending the dinner.
After Age UK revealed a statistic that nearly a million people aged 65 and over will spend Christmas alone this year, the event couldn’t come at a better time.
Anthony Birch, owner of Silver Birch Foods said ‘The centre has never opened on Christmas Day before, it’s a time when we are reminded how hard life can be,
especially for the elderly who have lived such a life they should not be left alone.’
The company have a crowdfunding page with a goal of £600 to be raised by Christmas day, to pay for food,
games and presents for all the guests.
Anthony continued ”I have been in contact with local charity’s shops and individuals to raise awareness,
I also spent time in the high street speaking to people to get details about the event more public.
I hope this event will be one of many and will convince others to help out too,
the huge support I have received from the community is amazing.”
The meal is scheduled to begin at 11am and run until 3pm and is directed at the homeless,
less fortunate, elderly or those that just don’t have anywhere to go during the festive period.
The dinner will also include some traditional twists as well, Anthony continues ”We have decorations,
live music provided by the ‘Thiag foundation’ and presents donated from members of the public.
We will be providing a Christmas dinner with a quirky twist using modern cooking methods,
all of this is in order to provide people a Christmas like no other,
especially for those who have no one this festive season.”
Speaking to Neil Brown, Chief officer from Age Uk Canterbury,
he said ‘ We in age UK Canterbury have around 120 volunteers of which 25 of those are ‘direct befrienders’,
we match them with clients with similar interests, on a weekly basis they meet up for two or three hours a week,
which really goes a long way to supporting people in the community and safe guarding people from
the problems and serious issues related to loneliness, of which we believe there is around 4 million people in the uk
that are problematic to loneliness, it’s a big issue. ”