ABER CAFE GIVES FREE CHRISTMAS DINNERS TO THE LONELY

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Cambrian News photographer - Ahmet Acikel was inspired to help lonely people at Christmas after his experience when he first came to the UK

It’s the busiest year yet for an Aberystwyth cafe offering free Christmas dinners to lonely people.

BBC News reported “Ahmet Acikel has been opening up the doors to Home Cafe, in Aberystwyth for the last three years over the festive period.

One diner said he was spending Christmas alone because he was divorced, his children live away and both his parents are very ill.

“You can see the people come together, it makes me happy,” Mr Acikel said.

Mr Acikel has been living in the UK for 17 years and considers himself British-Turkish.

He said that when he arrived here, he had no friends or family, and that feeling of loneliness inspired him to help those in a similar situation at Christmas.

Cambrian News photographer – Mr Acikel has welomed more than 30 people through his doors this Christmas
Cambrian News photographer – Diners can eat for free thanks to donations from local businesses

“I felt lonely, alone, not involved with the people,” he said

As more people become aware of the event, supermarkets, suppliers and customers have come forward to donate food and drink.

This year, he has seen over 30 people walk through the doors. But the festive food and drink comes second to the company.

“It’s not about the food or the drink, it’s about the companionship, putting a smile on people’s faces,” he added.

“We are here for them. Customers with no kids, no family, I sit with them and speak to them. It’s becoming more popular every year.”

Cambrian News photographer – People are given free food, drinks and even a gift

He does not charge people for food and drink on Christmas Day, and he even gives out gifts.

Divorcee Jim Fraser’s parents are both elderly and very ill and his children are living away.

“It’s nice to get away from all that depressing stuff,” he said. “It’s great that he’s doing this. You can see how many people are coming along” here.

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