Generous Padiham people throw their support behind Christmas lunch for homeless, elderly and vulnerable

Mooch cafe in Padiham is the venue for a Christmas Day lunch for the homeless, elderly and vulnerable.
Mooch cafe in Padiham is the venue for a Christmas Day lunch for the homeless, elderly and vulnerable.
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The generous people of Padiham have thrown their support behind plans for a Christmas Day lunch that is being laid on for the homeless, elderly and vulnerable.

The event will be hosted by Bethany Rawes helped by her mum Judith and her two friends Michelle Brown and Annette Coad who all work at St Leonard's Primary School in Padiham.

The owner of Mooch Cafe has agreed it can be used as a the venue for the festive lunch which will include a raffle and other festive attractions.

Inspiration for the lunch came from Annette after she volunteered at a Crisis Christmas Day lunch last year and wanted to do something to help again this year.

Bethany, who has just set up her own business as a freelance marketer, said: "My mum and Michelle have always wanted to do something like this and, as a teenager, I cared for an elderly family member for quite a few years so I have always been aware of the loneliness that older people feel especially at Christmas."

Since announcing the lunch Bethany (25) has been overwhelmed by the support shown from townsfolk and businesses.

She said: "People have been donating brand new gifts as we aim to give everyone who attends a present.

"We have also had shoeboxes made up of gifts for men, women and children and we will also have an area of ‘essentials’ such as tins of food and toiletries which people may take at their discretion "

Conlan's Butchers has donated a turkey and sausages for the meal and Bethany is hoping that more businesses will get on board even if it is just putting up a poster.

Mooch are also offering a "pay it foward" scheme where people can bob into the cafe and pay for someone's Christmas dinner.

Bethany added: "We want to reach out to people who may be spending Christmas alone.

"I know that Padiham doesn't have a large homeless community so people from surrounding areas are free to join us.

Bethany wants to spread the word about the lunch so that as many people as possible know about it.

She added: "If anyone knows a neighbour who’s often alone at Christmas, just to pop round to tell them about our lunch would be brilliant, as they’re a hard community to reach."

There is space for 30 people to sit down for lunch but Bethany and her team are happy to deliver a meal to any elderly people who cannot get out of the house.

Anyone who would like more information or to attend the lunch is asked to ring Bethany on 07703380650.