Residents who fear spending Christmas Day alone may get the miracle they have been praying for after all.
Since our story announcing there would be no festive meal for the lonely at Broad Street Methodist Church in Spalding this year, a new hope has been born.
Community angels from all over the district and beyond have come forward with offers of a venue and help – and, of course, food for the Christmas dinner.
Liz Walmsley, general manager of Spalding Age UK, said: “It would be wonderful if the town can get behind this Christmas Day lunch and help our local elderly enjoy a lovely social occasion. There are lots of lonely people around all the year, but I think it seems worse in the winter, especially at Christmas.
“We have had offers of help with the kitchen duties on the day, but we would need help with transport fetching in the people and taking them home again, so if anyone is able to spare an hour helping with this it would be very much appreciated.”
Ivo Day Centre in Albion Street has offered its facility free of charge for the Christmas Day meal.
Robert West, chairman of the charity, said: “We have just had the kitchen refitted with a new cooker, so it will be ideal for cooking a Christmas meal for the lonely.
“The centre is set up for the disabled as well as abled body.
“As a charity we welcome any new group setting up and we are delighted to be able to help this important Christmas Day event carry on.”
Among the local businesses offering to contribute to the feast is new East Midlands Butcher of the Year, Gary Simpson.
Gary, who recently opened a shop in Spalding and has other award-winning branches in Heckington and Lincoln, said: “Of course, I’d be delighted to help out.”
Negotiations are taking place with local fruit and vegetable suppliers, but help is needed to source puddings and some Christmas trimmings to freshen up those already at the Ivo Day Centre.
To add to the atmosphere the Singing Santa, who launched his Christmas CD at Bookmark on Sunday, has offered to film special festive greetings for diners.
If you can help with the day or transport, or know someone who might like to attend, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01775 765415.