'I was brought up to care about what other people feel, especially senior members of our community' - Laura's free Christmas lunch for lonely pensioners

Laura Mitchell, who is organising a Christmas lunch event for people who are lonely, at St Michael and All Angels Church, Ashton-on-Ribble
Laura Mitchell, who is organising a Christmas lunch event for people who are lonely, at St Michael and All Angels Church, Ashton-on-Ribble
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A woman from Ashton is organising a free festive lunch for senior members of the community, because no one should be spending Christmas day alone.

A woman from Ashton is organising a free festive lunch for senior members of the community, because no one should be spending Christmas day alone.

Last year, while she was doing the food shopping for her own Christmas lunch with her family, Laura Mitchell, 30, overheard a conversation between a member of the supermarket’s staff and an older woman.

When asked if she was looking forward to Christmas, the older woman explained that she didn’t have anyone to spend it with, having lost her husband five years before, and that Christmas felt like any other day, there was nothing special about it anymore.

Laura said: “Overhearing that conversation really struck a chord with me.

“I remember thinking ‘no one should be alone on Christmas day’, but it was too late to arrange anything to make the senior members of this community feel less lonely.”

This year, Laura set up a non-profit organisation, Christmas Community Lunch, and raised funds to organise a free Christmas lunch for 60 senior members of the community, those that might not have anyone to spend it with and that are looking for some company on such a special day.

Laura added: “I am super excited to start getting recommendations, or people putting themselves forward for the event.”

On Christmas day, the three-course lunch will be at St Michael and All Angels Church hall, from 12noon to 4pm.

There will be entertainment, activities, bingo, a mini hamper and a streaming of the Queen’s Speech at 3pm.

The organisation also provides transport to and from the venue, so that everyone wishing to attend the lunch can reach the church hall, no matter how far they live.

Laura said: “My husband and my three-year-old daughter will be spending Christmas lunch with my husband’s family, while I will be at the church hall, but it’s for a very worthy cause.

“I was brought up to care about what other people feel, especially senior members of our families and of our community.

“I want to show my daughter that we should care about other people’s feelings first.”

Laura’s organisation is looking for donations, and frequent updates about the items they need are available on the organisation’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Christmas-Community-Lunch-109121017187556/

To nominate someone or to put yourself forward for the Christmas lunch email Laura at christmascommunitylunch@outlook.com or call 01772 666128