A Spalding takeaway is to make Christmas Day fish and chips for the lonely and vulnerable a treat again this year after a successful trial.
Westlode Fisheries, in Westlode Street, opened for two hours on December 25, when people alone and families struggling over Christmas were served with hot meals, mince pies and soft drinks.
Between 35 and 40 people accepted the invitation from owner Fardous Ali and her family, rather than be faced with a “lonely and cold” Christmas, in the words of Mud’s 1974 festive favourite.
Asad Masaud, Fardous’s brother, said: “It was absolutely great, the turnout was great and there was a good atmosphere on Christmas Day.
“People were smiling and having a great time while having fish and chips, mince pies and drinks.
Fardous announced her idea to open on Christmas Day two weeks before the big day, along with a six-hour opening on Christmas Eve, with a pledge that ten per cent of the chip shop’s takings will go to a Spalding charity.
Asad said: “Christmas Eve was excellent and we were so busy as people gave money to charity.
“It was very beautiful to watch as customers put their change into a money box, even though we weren’t expecting it to be so busy and so some people had to wait for a long time to be served, for which we apologise.”
Fardous decided to open specially on Christmas Eve and Christmas to mark her first year at Westlode Fisheries which opened under new management in December 2016.
She said: “The staff enjoyed Christmas Eve and it was really nice to have customers coming in who were were really grateful for our generosity.
“I don’t know whether it was the fact that ten per cent of the takings were going to charity but we were really busy on December 24.
“Then, on Christmas Day, the staff went round to customers who are elderly, living on their own or disabled and can’t cook for themselves.
“We also went round to the emergency services, handing out food to firefighters and police who were on duty and might be missing out on a Christmas Day meal with their families.”
Fardous was unable to say how much was raised for charity on Christmas Eve, nor which deserving cause the takeaway would be supporting.
She added: “We were thinking of charities in Spalding that work with the vulnerable and homeless because we would like to give something back to the community of Spalding.
“If we’re still here at the end of this year, we’ll open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day again and then make it a yearly thing to make sure that no one misses out.”
• Do you know of a deserving charity locally that Westlode Fisheries could help? Email jeremy.ransome @iliffepublishing.co.uk