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Paul's Christmas lunch for the needy
A ROADSIDE diner might not be the most sought-after location for Christmas dinner, but for 50 vulnerable people, it is where they will spend the festive day.
His own family and friends will give up much of their own day to help cook and serve the meal.
Mr Croucher, who runs the business with partner Sandi Cooper, said: “I spent a Christmas on my own once and I absolutely hated it. I know a lot of elderly people I have spoken to say it is just another day, but it makes me really sad anyone should have to spend it alone.
“I am trying to source the right people so the event is for those who are on their own or really in need.
“This is as much about the company as it is the free food, hopefully some people might even find lasting friendship.”
The American-themed diner, which opened a year ago, usually serves mega-sized meals, burgers, big breakfasts, ribs and hotdogs.
On December 25, Mr Croucher will turn his hands to traditional turkey with all the trimmings thanks to generous donations from suppliers, including national chain Bookers and Bucklands at Pipps Hill, Basildon.
One kind-hearted customer has offered to use his 15-seater minibus to ferry guests to and from the Roadhouse Diner, which was formerly known as Cafe Manhattan.
The Wickford Christian Centre based in Crouch Drive, Wickford, is supporting the project and helping put forward those in need.
Mr Croucher, from Rawreth, added: “This is our way of giving something back and doing something for the community.
“Staying true to our American theme, I guess it will be our own thanksgiving as well as Christmas.
“The support we have had has been amazing. This is all still in the very early stages, but the feedback has been very positive.
It will be hard work, but definitely worth it.”
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