A FAMILY-RUN pub will be opening its arms to make sure elderly residents are not lonely this Christmas.

The Swan Inn, in Kings Head Street, Harwich, is serving a Christmas dinner with all of the trimmings to for residents who have no one to celebrate December 25 with.

Sam Gould, the pub’s manager, said it was a regular elderly customer of hers called Alan who inspired her to hold the event.

The 41-year-old said: “We have a elderly man called Alan who travels from Ipswich most days of the week to the pub.

“He gets the train from Ipswich and comes to the pub for company.

“He was upset there will be no transport on Christmas Day, so we said we would put him up here as we are a guest house and let him spend Christmas with us.

“We then thought it would be a nice idea to open this offer up to other elderly people in the Harwich community so they don’t have to spend their Christmas Day alone.”

The dinner will be run by Sam, and her family, including her daughters, Lola, seven, and Niamh, 15.

Sam’s friend Sharon Shaw and her daughter are also helping.

The Christmas dinner will be open to about 20 guests.

The meal will be free for the guests along with a sherry and a small Christmas present.

Sam said: “It was Alan who made me think about holding this event as I am very family orientated and would hate to think anyone was on their own for Christmas. I hope this dinner will stop making people feel alone, give them company and let them have a nice time.

“Lots of elderly people don’t cook for themselves and it will be nice for them to feel welcome.”

A lot of people have expressed their interest in the event to Sam already.

The dinner is expected to run between 1pm and 4pm.

A Just Giving page has also been launched for people to donate money for a mini bus or taxis which can pick up the elderly who have no other way of getting to the pub.

To book a space or find out more, call the pub on 07741750316.

To donate, go to www.justgiving.com and search Christmas Day Harwich.