A west London council will once again host a Christmas lunch for pensioners who would otherwise be alone.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council will welcome 500 elderly residents in the borough for celebrations at a local hotel on Christmas Day.
The annual event has not been held since 2019, due to the pandemic.
One resident, Del Harding, 77, who lives in sheltered housing, said the event had been “brilliant” in the past and “they really look after you”.
Mr Harding is unable to travel as far as Belfast to visit his son for Christmas this year and intends to go to the council-hosted lunch instead.
“There’s nothing like a delicious Christmas dinner in good company. We’ve been through a lot with this pandemic, so it’s nice to get back to normal,” he said.
Del’s neighbour, John Davis, 72, said he too was “looking forward” to the lunch, having been in the past.
“It really brightened my day, it was excellent food, and I didn’t realise it was going to be that good to be honest,” he said.
The event is a lifeline for many elderly residents who would otherwise spend the festive period alone, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The day is free for those who attend, who will be able to enjoy a two-course meal, mince pies, and a Santa goody bag.
They will also be provided with free transport to and from the festive bash, which is run by council staff and volunteers.
Hammersmith and Fulham Council deputy leader Ben Coleman said it was “fantastic” the event was being held once again.
“I’m delighted to hear that those who took part in our Christmas lunch deliveries in 2021 are joining us for a proper celebration this year,” he said.
Residents who attend the event are nominated by neighbours or friends, although applications for this year’s lunch have now closed.