FOR some people, Christmas can be the loneliest time of the year, gripped with the reality of spending Christmas without anyone to share it with and forced to endure the plummeting temperatures without even a roof over their heads.
But with thanks to the Warrington Open Door at Christmas charity, many people will no longer have to face the festive period alone.
The charity provides isolated, vulnerable and homeless people in Warrington with a roof over their heads, a place to relax and play games and a hot meal with Monday’s menu comprising of vegetable soup, shepherd’s pie and apple strudel.
Between December 25 and January 1, the charity has provided support and sustenance to those who desperately need it.
More than 60 people have attended the service at St John’s Church on Wilderspool Causeway each day to enjoy the warmth and home comforts that many of us take for granted.
There was also a free hairdressing and chiropody service on site for visitors, who were provided with food parcels and warm clothing.
Nikki Taylor knows only too well what it is like to spend Christmas alone after being kicked out of her home in Wigan four years ago by her parents when she was still a teenager.
“After my mum and dad threw me out I came to Warrington as I had nowhere to go. I found out about the service from other people at the shelter,” said the 23-year-old, who now lives in sheltered accommodation in Bewsey.
Nikki, who now volunteers at the YMCA, added: “I look forward coming here each year as you don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from.”
Latchford resident Howard Daynes would be forced to spend Christmas alone if it wasn’t for WODAC.
The 47-year-old added: “It is a relief from the stuff we normally have to worry about. People with a low income or no income at all wouldn’t be able to have a hot meal otherwise.”
WODAC started in 1991 in response to the rise in homelessness and isolation in Warrington and is run by a dedicated team of volunteers.
Volunteer Emma Bailey said: “The service would not be possible without the generosity of many people and organisations in Warrington.
“St John’s Church, Waterfields Bakery and Wards the Butchers of Stockton Heath deserve a particular mention because of their support for WODAC over the years.”
For more information visit wodac.org.uk.