Happiness is delivered by Montgomery's

Free dinner and `craic’ on Christmas Day in Newry for those facing spending the day alone

The event is organised and run on the day entirely by volunteers

CHRISTMAS day need not be spent alone, as a group of Newry volunteers are providing a `bite and banter’ for anyone who needs company this Yuletide.

The Gateway Club at Kilmorey Street in the city has donated its premises for the day and will welcome all-comers for Christmas dinner and refreshments from 1pm until 2.30pm.

“Above all there will be good company,” said Margaret McShane, one of the team of volunteers.

The day is open to “anyone, young or old, alone or otherwise who would like to enjoy some food, a bit of entertainment and some chat and company on Chritsmas day”.

“We do not judge or discriminate and persons are welcomed regardless of age or situation.”

The event is “anonymous and free” and goes ahead only through the generosity of local businesses and members of the public who have been donating for the last four years.

Ms McShane said there is bus that calls around to pick up people unable to get to the dinner under their own steam.

Last year around 100 people from Crossmaglen to Kilkeel spent Christmas there.

In addition to volunteering or donations, some people help by cooking one extra Christmas dinner and dropping it off at the club.

They are still taking donations, with drop-off points at:

Mauds Ice Cream Parlout, Warrenpoint Road, Newry

Elite Dry Cleaners, Hill Street, Newry

Pizza Point, Church Street, Warrenpoint

Rostrevor Inn (Crawfords Bar) Bridge Street, Rostrevor

More information via Bite n Banter hotlines: 07783 671217 / 07894746940 and the volunteer hotline: 07936 300235 or email bitenbanter@gmail.com