A local restaurant is hoping to provide some festive cheer for residents who may be lonely this Christmas.
Staff at the Collinview Restaurant in Ballyclare will be providing Christmas dinner for elderly residents, as well as members of the community who may be spending Christmas Day alone.
The team at the Springvale Road eatery will be liaising with local elected representatives and medical professionals in the coming days in a bid to cater for as many people who would benefit from their kindhearted gesture.
They will be providing dinners between 12:30pm and 5:30pm on Christmas Eve and are hoping as many people as possible will be able to avail of the effort.
Chef and owner, Kevin McMahon, made the heartfelt decision to give something back to the local community this Christmas.
Speaking to the Times, Kevin said: “Myself and my wife Collette were sitting at the kitchen table the other night discussing Christmas. We said how this year we should make it not all about our kids as there are so many unfortunate people who are possibly going to spend Christmas alone or have no means to cook a good meal.
“We thought it would be nice to ‘pay it forward’ and to give back something to the local community who have supported us!”
Since announcing their intentions on social media yesterday, they have been overwhelmed by the support they have received from the public.
Kevin explained: “The feedback has been incredible in such a short time! It’s overwhelming!
“My stepdaughter Seaneen, who is the restaurant manager and who looks after all our social media accounts, has said her phone has not stopped!
“We have had hundreds of messages from well-wishers and local businesses who have volunteered to help deliver the dinners!
“We are aiming with the help of local social workers, carers and politicians that the dinners can be allocated to those who truly need it.”
Kevin has been in business at the restaurant for 10 years and wanted to give something back to the local community this Christmas.
He added: “It’s been an incredible journey. I have always wanted to give at Christmas and have thought about it and feel now is the year to do it.
“We have not received any donations from any other suppliers. We feel that we want to do this ourselves, so along with myself, my wife Collette and the staff at the restaurant, we are all playing a part in helping to cook and deliver the food on Christmas Eve.
“As of yet, we have not received any orders, but we urge local residents and members of the health care community to come forward in helping us here at Collinview Restaurant to ‘pay it forward’ this Christmas.”