The Bromley café offering lunch and games for people alone on Christmas Day

The Bromley café offering lunch and games for people alone on Christmas Day <i>(Image: Kevin French)</i>
The Bromley café offering lunch and games for people alone on Christmas Day (Image: Kevin French)

A café is set to offer a free festive lunch to people who are on their own in Bromley on Christmas Day.

The Green Roof Cafe at High Elms Country Park is once again opening its doors on Christmas Day for a complimentary festive meal for anyone who may be on their own on at Christmas.

The free experience – which is open to all ages - starts at 12pm on Christmas Day, when volunteers either go out and pick guests up from their homes, or they make their own way to the beloved café.

Festivities include a Christmas lunch and a quiz, which in previous years has seen people donate items such as bouquets of flowers and gift bags stocked with biscuits and blankets.

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The man behind the generous business, Kevin French, first thought of the idea when he saw the high number of people who feel alone during the Christmas period.

Kevin told the News Shopper: “It was around five years ago when I saw there was a lot on the TV about people being lonely at Christmas.

“They were saying about taking out some time to donate some time to help out.

“I thought, well, I’ve got this café I've got a big family myself.

“I used to go up the pub until 2pm on Christmas Day, so this is no hardship for me at all.”

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Just last year, Kevin said one of the volunteers was a young woman who recently got divorced and was spending Christmas on her own, as her son was with his dad.

After volunteering at The Green Room, the same lady said spending the day at the café “made her Christmas”.

Kevin added: “It’s a really nice event.

“I run a few cafes and no longer work full time, but for this event, I'm more than happy to go back in the kitchen.

“Last year, my nephew and nieces helped me along with a couple of ladies, so it’s never a problem getting volunteers.”

News Shopper: Kevin and family
News Shopper: Kevin and family

Kevin and family (Image: Kevin French)

Despite dedicating his time and efforts supporting lonely people in and near the Bromley borough on Christmas Day, Kevin still makes time to see his family.

He said: “I try and finish at 2pm so myself and the volunteers can get home and celebrate their Christmas Day.

“Everyone is still here, and I am not missing out on anything.

“I have two daughters, a son in Sri Lanka and four grandsons – so they’re always around.”

Kevin says that there are a mix of ages who visit the Café on Christmas Day, and the offer is open to anybody on their own.

“We want people to known about the lunch – it’s not just for the elderly.

“Last year, we managed to pick up a guest who was in a wheelchair in a specialist vehicle as someone kindly volunteered to get them.

“I would hate for people to think they are embarrassed or too shy to come.

“This is a fun event, and everyone will make you feel welcome.

“We also collect new presents through November and December for the Salvation Army and get loads of gits.”

If you would like to visit The Green Room Café on Christmas Day, you can call the café on 01689 855439 to reserve your place.