A PUB is spreading some Christmas cheer by offering lonely elderly people a free festive dinner.

The Red Lion Inn, in The Street, Latchingdon, is dishing up free Christmas lunches for residents who are not dining with friends or family this holiday.

The management team who took over the pub 18 months ago came up with the idea.

It is the first time they have run such a scheme and it is exclusively for residents in the Latchingdon parish area.

Co-owner Sarah Ellis said: “The response and offers of help has been fabulous, from washing-up to taxi services.

“We predict there will be about 40 dinners.

“If other pubs do similar for their parishes, it will make some people so happy.

“That is what Christmas is all about – kindness and generosity.

“There are a few people that would prefer not to come out to the pub, but we have been told they will not be seeing family or friends and would love a dinner, so we will deliver one to them on the day of our meal.

“Carers are able to take the meals to people too.

“There is a good chance they will not be on Facebook so if you think it could your neighbour we are talking about, go and speak with them and then contact us with their details privately.”

Latchingdon Parish chairman Dale Symons added: “The Red Lion public house is in the heart of community and this kind gesture to those of the community that are vulnerable and alone at Christmas time just proves that the Christmas spirit is well and truly alive.”

The pub needs to know who will be joining in by the end of the week.

Dates will be confirmed nearer to the time but the meal will not be on Christmas day.

For details, visit facebook.com/redlioninnlatchingdon or call 01621 740298.