Lakeside owner Raj has been helping to spread festive cheer by putting on Christmas dinner for a group of elderly Peterborough residents. Local members of the charity Contact the Elderly, including volunteers, were invited to Ferry Meadows for a delicious three-course meal at Lakeside.

This is the third year that Raj has hosted Christmas dinner for Contact the Elderly, which is a national charity dedicated to tackling loneliness and social isolation amongst older people living in the United Kingdom.

In England, more than 2 million people over the age of 75 live alone, while more than 1 million older people say they go for over a month without speaking to a friend, neighbour or family member. Over Christmas, this feeling of isolation can really intensify, and almost 1 million older people say that the holiday season is the loneliest time of all.

L to R: June and Daphne pull a Christmas cracker

Raj explains: “Over the festive period, many of us are busy socialising; however, for lots of older people it can be very lonely. We love hosting Christmas dinner for the local Contact group and hope it helps to spread some festive cheer amongst vulnerable people in our community.”

The mouth-watering dinner included roast turkey, butternut and sage risotto, Christmas pudding and mince pies. As well as plenty of nourishment, the meal provided the opportunity for the group to socialise.

Nyree Ambarchian is a volunteer who helps to run the local Contact the Elderly group. She says: “We’re incredibly grateful to Raj and Lakeside for hosting Christmas dinner, the staff are so welcoming and the food is absolutely delicious. It’s becoming an annual fixture on our calendar and both the older people and volunteers really look forward to it.”

If you’re lonely and aged over 75 or you know someone who is, you can find your nearest Contact the Elderly group by going to www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk.