St Neots cafe reaching out for Christmas

A CAF� in St Neots is showing the spirit of the season by offering a free Christmas Day lunch to those who might otherwise spend the day alone.

Cornerstone Caf� on Cambridge Street has already filled 20 seats for its festive feast, but still has 10 spaces free for those looking for somewhere to celebrate Christmas Day.

That could be because of bereavement, financial difficulty or family problems – but regardless of the reason, the caf� will be a place to enjoy the day with others, said organiser Jim Fitzgerald.

“Christmas brings out the real best in people – it enhances joy, but can also enhance the disappointment. That’s the ethos behind this,” he said.

“The lunch is for anyone who would spend the day alone or who may be facing financial difficulties. We don’t want to know the problems or what brought them to us.

“Cornerstone will be a place where people can stock up for the day and enjoy a sense of community.”

Mr Fitzgerald is a director at Chef’s Table Solutions, a catering company which has teamed up with River Church and Cornerstone Caf� to organise the day.

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A team of 10 volunteers will help serve the meal – turkey with all the trimmings, or a vegetarian option – and offer a free pick-up and drop-off service.

Waitrose in St Neots has already contributed parcels of Christmas food to be distributed, and diners will even be given small gifts to take home.

Mr Fitzgerald and his wife Pam hit upon the idea last Christmas and, if this year proves a success, they would like to see the idea grow.

He said: “I have three grown-up daughters and we have had lovely Christmases together, but our family dynamics have changed.

“Last year it just seemed like eat, eat, drink, drink, self, self. My wife and I thought it should be more than that.

“We’re doing it in order to bless and encourage people and for them to know that though they may be on their own for whatever reason, they don’t have to be.

“We are starting small in the hope that we widen it to families in the future – though we might even hear from families this year.”

INFORMATION: If you would like to attend the Cornerstone Caf� Christmas Day lunch, contact Jim Fitzgerald on 07545 175837 or call in to the caf�.