PEOPLE in Ludlow are being urged to show the true spirit of Christmas and think of the increasing number of people in the town who find themselves on their own.

There will be a Christmas meal at the Helena Lane Day Care Centre on Monday, especially for people who are lonely.

A team of volunteers will prepare and serve the meal that is being organised by Churches Together Around Ludlow.

There has been a Christmas meal for people on their own or in difficult circumstances for many years.

But Vivienne Parry, one of the organisers says that the need in the town is increasing with a growing number of people on their own.

“The meal is open to people of all ages,” said Mrs Parry, who is a member of Ludlow Town Council and the Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow South.

“There are so many people in Ludlow and the surrounding area who are on their own. I hope that if people have neighbours who are lonely that they call in because a simple kindness can make so much difference.

“We have a large proportion of older people in Ludlow and that means that there are many who face the prospect of being on their own over Christmas and feeling very isolated.

She said that although Christmas should be a happy time it is also very painful for some people.

“It is a time when loneliness can become even more difficult,” added Mrs Parry.

“For a lot of people there are a lot of sad memories especially of loved ones who may not be around any longer.

“It is a particular issue in Ludlow because of the number of older people.

“However, it is not just the elderly who are lonely and for whom Christmas can be a very difficult time.

“All ages are welcome at the lunch and it could be a chance to make friendships that will make people less lonely in the coming year.

The meal at Helena Lane starts at 11am and continues into the afternoon. Two courses will be served and the price is £10 but people who are unable to afford this will be helped.

In order to help with the catering people who want to attend are asked to book in advance by calling Vivienne Parry, telephone 01584 873604, Sue Jones, telephone 01584 874747 or David Harlington on 07771 847669.