Jack’s helping Ryan to make Christmas Day for more than 100 lonely and underprivileged people
A Wakefield man who has suffered mental health problems is hosting a free Christmas Day Dinner for more than 100 lonely or underprivileged people after winning support from a local supermarket.
Ryan Simpson has organised the free meal at a Leeds community centre to help people who are struggling financially or feel isolated and lonely at Christmas.
He asked for help in an appeal published in the Wakefield Express last month and Jack’s supermarket on Ings Road in Wakefield stepped in to help and donated enough food to feed 100 people.
The Christmas Day dinner will be hosted at Swinnow Community Centre in Bramley, .
Mr Simpson said: “I wanted to host this event because I know first hand how difficult this time of year can be regarding loneliness or mental health issues as I suffered with my mental health a couple years ago at this time of year.
“To see everybody spending time with family and friends when you have neither of those can be really heartbreaking and hard to deal with.
“I’m hoping with this event I can bring everybody together who feels the same way or is experiencing the same situation this year and in doing so can make a huge difference in not only their Christmas Day, but also how they are feeling mentally.”
Louise Holcroft, of Jack’s supermarket, said: “Jack’s are always looking to support local good causes and when store manager, Ahmed Vachhiyat saw the article in the Wakefield Express he and his team wanted to help.
“For Ryan to be putting others before himself in this way is truly inspirational and we hope that everyone has a fantastic time at the community Christmas dinner.”
Mr Simpson thanked Jack’s He said “ I have had a huge amount of support but would like to thank Rebecca Thirkhill who has been a massive help going out everyday to collect donations, she has done an amazing job.
“Everything is pretty much ready to go now and I really hope I can make this day as special for everyone who attends as it will be for me personally to be able to share my Christmas Day with people and not be sat around feeling lonely or down.”
The dinner will be hosted at Swinnow Community Centre in Leeds on Christmas Day from 11.30am to 5pm with transport provided from Leeds City Centre to the venue.