By Ryan Coney
Declan Moore Of Claude’s in Derry and Joan Vaughan of Common Grounds café in South Belfast are just two of a number of cafes and restaurants that will open their doors this Christmas to those that will find themselves alone or homeless.
Joan has recently joined in on City Churches initiate will open their door to the diverse area of Ormeau, south Belfast, welcoming, elderly, refugees and homeless people. Joan says “we shouldn’t be building walls but opening our doors.”
In Derry, Declan will be continuing his annual tradition of welcoming the less fortunate, it all started years ago, when Declan was juggling rearing a young family and running a kitchen for many on Christmas day. The organising behind the initiative has grown but the sincerity behind it has not changed, with Declan proudly declaring that he gets more out of helping others and seeing the gratitude that this gesture offers.
One in five adults will find themselves alone this Christmas. According to Age UK and reported on Sky News around 1.2 million mainly older people will be alone at Christmas.