Shoreham pub offers free Christmas dinner to people who are alone

A Shoreham pub is offering older people free Christmas dinner and gathering support from the community to bring a little extra happiness to those who will be alone over the festive season.

The Shoreham Centre has served a free lunch on Christmas Day for the past few years, bringing together 70 people who would otherwise have spent the day alone.

As that will not be possible this year, due to Covid-19, The Bridge, in High Street, has decided that on Christmas Eve, the team will deliver donated gifts, a Christmas lunch, bottle of prosecco, cracker and mince pie to elderly people in need of support.

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The Bridge will provide a full Christmas lunch with all the trimmings and the team is seeking donations so each person receives a Christmas present, too.

The Bridge directors Jamie Malpass, left, and Karim Larbi are seeking Christmas gift donations

The Co-op, Oakley and other businesses have pledged support and Shoreham and Southwick Rotary Club has offered its Christmas sleigh for deliveries.

Jamie Malpass, co-director at The Bridge, said: “Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 the Shoreham Centre cannot provide their annual Christmas Day lunch that feeds 70 vulnerable people and those on their own. This means there are more than 70 people in the Shoreham area who will not benefit from this service.

“No one should be alone this Christmas and after a lonely epidemic, sadly, it is expected nationally 850,000 elderly people will be on their own this year for the festivities. However, we want to help locally.

“The support so far has been amazing. We are now looking for more support from other local businesses who might be able to help us help them.”

Unwrapped gifts should be donated by December 18. Once these have been checked and sorted, help will be needed to wrap the presents at The Bridge on Sunday, December 20, at 6pm.

Jamie said: “The presents will need to be left unwrapped as we need to make sure they are suitable. Every gift needs to be brand new and sealed, as for some people this might be their only present they receive this Christmas.

“To give you an idea of what other people are donating, biscuits, chocolate, candles, pictures, scarves, books, frames and anything else you would like to receive if you were that person.”

Email [email protected] for more information and to pledge support.

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