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Ian, who opened his Woolton eaterie offering free fayre and a friendly face on Christmas Day, says: “We had a very successful day, both in terms of money raised and helping people on the day.”
The fantastic sum is ‘the most money ever’ collected by Ian and his team when they’ve invited people to spend December 25 with them.
And he says it was heart-warming as always to be able to offer comfort to those who needed it: “One gentleman, who lost his wife in January last year, came in and commented on how he had not been looking forward to spending the day on his own.
“So it was lovely to be able to help him out.”
Ian and his caring staff have given their time voluntarily for the last four years, offering seasonal cheer and a welcome drop-in for anyone on their own, as well as regulars who just want to say hello and wish each other the best.
And it has become increasingly popular as the years have gone by.
Ian says: “This year, in the weeks leading up to Christmas Day, we received £300 in donations from our customers, and on the day itself we received over £400. We raised our most money so far, £740, that was donated to the Trussell Trust.
“This has now taken the total we have raised over the four years of opening on Christmas Day to more than £2000.”
He adds: “There was a real mix of people who came in.
“We have a young family who have come in every Christmas Day since we opened, and it has become their tradition.
“A lady called in as she had only recently moved to Liverpool and her daughter and family, who she was due to spend Christmas Day with, had tested positive for Covid. She stayed and had a chat with another couple of people who came on their own to visit.
“There were also a few of our regulars who called in for a mince pie and a coffee and wished us all Happy Christmas, leaving some lovely donations.”
Ian says none of it would be possible without the help of his ‘wonderful staff’ members who donated their time, ‘one of whom no longer works at Coast but came back to spend some time with any people who came in wanting a chat’, as well as his partner, parents, and a cousin who all helped out: “It was a real family effort.”
And he continues: “Lastly, The Guide and Radio Merseyside really helped by spreading the word, helping make it our best year for donations. So thank you very much.”
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