Meals on offer so no-one is lonely this Christmas

Pol Shields of Upstairs at Joes in Cushendall is offering a Christmas dinner delivery service across north Antrim on Sunday.
Pol Shields of Upstairs at Joes in Cushendall is offering a Christmas dinner delivery service across north Antrim on Sunday.

Charities, churches, and restaurants across Northern Ireland are swinging open their doors on Christmas Day in a bid to ensure that nobody feels forgotten on Sunday.

Pol Shields of Upstairs at Joe’s in Cushendall has already laid on a sit-down dinner for 50 people, but on Christmas Day it will ben running a delivery service turkey dinner for another 120 people who were not able to get out.

“I just had a call from someone today in Ballymena who is living on his own and would like one,” he said.

“We started it four years ago as we noted some pensioners were not having any Christmas dinner at all, they would just sit at home and it was just like any other day. So we decided to take it upon ourselves to make a difference.”

Pol is also appealing for more volunteers to help with his free meal services.

Hilary Braniff of the Captain’s Table in Glengormely is launching their Christmas Day event for the first time this year.

“We started it for local pensioners and people living on their own,” she said.

“We just put a note on Facebook and it has just taken off.We have 25 people definitely coming and maybe more.

“I have four sons and we are always a bit squashed around our table

“Then I found out that three of our regulars would be on their own at Christmas.

“It was not practical to invite them home so I suggested having our family dinner at the restaurant and it just went from there. “

The following are laying on dinners. Please phone to book and confirm.

The following are laying on dinners. Please phone to book and confirm.

Cushendall – Upstairs at Joe’s, (028)2177 2849; Glengormley – The Captain’s Table, 9083 2265; Belfast – Common Grounds Cafe, 9032 6589; Darkley, Keady – Crossfire Trust, 3753 1636; Newry and District Gateway Club, 07783 671217; Lisburn Vineyard Church, 92671887; Omagh Community Church, 07522621608; Greenisland Baptist Church, text 07835 989216; Age NI centres are also providing dinners.