A kind-hearted restaurateur is serving up a festive treat for pensioners facing Christmas alone.
Andy King is closing his restaurant to the public for two days and opening 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 lay on a visit from Santa.
Andy, who owns The Junction Restaurant and Sidings Bar in Widdrington Station, was inspired to lay on the Christmas treat by a televisison advert highlighting the plight of the lonely at Christmas.
He said: “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.
“I, like a lot of people, was moved by the sentiments behind the John Lewis television 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 ring the diners to give them 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,” he said.
“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 we’ll make a difference to them.”
The special lunch days will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday. Castle Taxis is also offering local free pick-ups.
Anyone wanting to nominate neighbours or elderly people who will be spending Christmas alone can call The Junction Restaurant on 01670 790888.
It is estimated that around half a million pensioners will spend Christmas Day alone.
For more information about the restaurant, visit www.thejunctionrestaurant.co.uk
Earlier this year, representatives from True Heroes Racing, including double amputee rider Murray Hambro with his adapted Ducati 899 Panigale, visited The Junction to thank Andy for supporting the charity.