Post People: Dagenham cafe boss offers free Christmas meal for elderly
PUBLISHED: 13:56 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 16:33 08 December 2016
Rosie Lee Cafe owner Rosie Boyaci, 47, speaks to Sebastian Murphy-Bates about using her business to reach out to those in need at Christmas
“Since taking over the cafe 18 months ago, I’ve wanted to do something special at Christmas.
“I’ve worked in this industry for 15 years as a chef, a dish-washer and now I’m at the front of house where I get to meet people and I always try to listen to their problems.
“I’m quite a chatterbox but I always try to help and make people feel better.
“I have regular customers from The Lodge Care Home in Broad Street and I see a lot of elderly people who don’t have relatives in the area.
“When I heard that lots of elderly people will be spending Christmas alone with no family around them I decided to do something.
“So on December 23 I’m going to offer a free festive meal for up to 25 people in one sitting so that they can come together and enjoy their Christmas.
“I love Christmas because for me it’s about people coming together. I have that every year with my family and I think it’s sad that people can’t have that. Maybe offering a free meal can make those people happy – which will make us happy.
“I’m originally from Istanbul in Turkey but I grew up in England and I think in this country Christmas has become too much about buying presents. It isn’t Christmas anymore when people are shopping all the time, buying this and that.
“This time of year should be about people coming together to celebrate and care for each other. I’m hoping to show people that they too can enjoy time with other people instead of being stressed out about buying things.
“But I also hope this shows what you can do for others at this time of year. Christmas isn’t about leaving elderly people alone in their houses and I think showing this kind of support might make people question themselves. Maybe it’ll show them how to help others.”
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