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Two Havering cafes open for those in need on Christmas day

Matt (left) and Dan from Elm Park Cafe

Christmas is a time for giving, and Time 107.5 has spoken to two cafes who are opening their doors on Christmas Day to help others.

Both Elm Park Cafe and French’s Cafe in Hornchurch are opening to help the disadvantaged and lonely by offering a Christmas dinner free of charge.

Elm Park, on Broadway, will be opening for the first year on the festive day, between 3pm-5pm, for the homeless.

Earlier on in the day, it will also have a paid-for menu for other customers, including those that would otherwise be alone.

For the second year running, the family-run French’s Cafe, in North Street, is open from 12pm-4pm for those alone or without company.

SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, is working in partnership with French’s cafe.

Volunteers and regulars have signed up to aid with transport for those wanting to attend either cafe who may be isolated.

Phoebe French from French’s cafe in Hornchurch

Owner of Elm Park Cafe, Matt, is running the event and keen to help the community.

Matt said: “We want to share their happiness on their special days especially this one. We want to open on Christmas day and be part of the family.

“We don’t celebrate Christmas. We are Muslim but we are living in this country so we should respect their religion and respect the people.”

French’s Cafe is opening once again after the success of last year’s event.

Phoebe French, of French’s cafe, said: “I feel like last Christmas was one of my most favourite Christmases yet.

“You kind of lose the magic when your older and it isn’t as exciting but seeing what you can do for other people. It wasn’t just the people that came along, we enjoyed ourselves.

“Please don’t be nervous about calling because so many people have put their hands up already. There will be loads of people here and it’s going to be so much fun so please put the word out.”

If you or someone you know are alone on Christmas day, contact Elm Park Cafe on 01708 478525.

Alternatively, contact French’s Cafe in Hornchurch on 01708 451450. You can also book a place through SSAFA on 01708 755060.

There’s no charge for the day, however, spaces are limited.

Time 107.5 is looking to shine a light on the great work of volunteers over the Christmas period. If you know anyone who deserves recognition, please email news@time1075.net

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