Doncaster mum's mission to host festive dinner for those who are alone at Christmas
A Doncaster mum is on a mission to spread festive cheer by inviting those who may be alone over the holiday season for a community Christmas day dinner.Â
Sam Sides, aged 33, from Bawtry, will be hosting the festive feast to bring members of the community together that otherwise may be by themselves on Christmas day.
The mum-of-five posted an advert last month offering the spareÂ seat at her tableÂ for anyone that was alone on the big day and wanted to join herself, husband Jamie and family for dinner.Â
That night she received a call from someone who was willing to take up the offer.
But, worried that more people may ring and she would have to turn them down, Sam decided to take the idea one step further.
She said: 'I just ran with the idea from there, getting a venue and cooking dinner for anyone that may be on their own on that day. I didn't know how I was going to do it or where, but I had more people putting their name down.
'I ended up getting 41 people in total so far who will be there.Â I am aiming for 72 people, but if the seats don't get taken then the leftover meals will be boxed up and taken to the homeless charity.
'I don't want anyone to be alone at Christmas. That's what Christmas is about, being together and having a good time. I want to show my kids that it is not just about presents, its about spending time with people.'
Sam says the support from those living in Bawtry has been overwhelming, with many offering donations and services to make the day the best it can be.Â
'It's been amazing. People have donated meat, stuffing, peas, carrots, sprouts, everything for people to eat. The Bawtry community have been 100% behind me. I didn't expect the reaction it has received.
'We've been given the Bawtry MSG venue free of charge. I was also worried about food hygiene cooked for that many people, so the food on the day will be done by Bronwyn from Jaysters Catering of Bawtry.'
She hopes to get everyone a gift that turns up on the day, and will be providing Christmas hats to get everyone in the festive spirit.Â
'I'm would like to do it again next year, and be able to get transport for people that live out the area so they can come too,' Sam added.
Sam will be raising money to buy any last minute essentials they may need for the big day, and if enough is raised she hopes to organise a day trip for those who may be alone.Â
She said: 'Sometimes people don't talk to anyone for weeks never mind seeing anyone. I'm hoping to change this in my area soÂ no one is alone.
'Anyone is welcome that will be lonely on the day, with nobody that has family round. I'm hoping to make it like a big family Christmas with singing and board games.'
For anyone that wants to get involvedÂ call Sam on 07377968377.
The event will be held on December 25, from 1pm atÂ Bawtry Memorial Sports Ground, Great North Road, DN10 6JH.Â