DREAMS have come true for a committed cook as she seeks to ensure nobody will be lonely this Christmas.
Annabella McMurray opened her own Flint business, Bellas Diner, in March after many years catering for the Flint community.
She has catered for the many – including starting a lunch club for St Mary’s Catholic ladies in 2006, cooking at The Armoury and a pensioner’s Christmas party at the Town Hall, while working as an accounts manager.
But now she says she can “do what I’ve always wanted to do” and provide for those who deserve extra care.
Annabella is launching a project called ‘Christmas for the Lonely’, delivering food and love for vulnerable community members.
She said: “Last Christmas, I went shopping and saw an ex-military homeless man outside Primark in Chester. I went and got cash out, gave it him and said ‘this is for food, not for anything bad’.
“The same happened with a young homeless girl in Liverpool. It just felt odd being there holding all these presents and they had nothing. It broke my heart.
“So I became self-employed, I knew I could now do what I’ve always wanted to and provide for the community and people.
“Although we only met a couple of days ago to start planning the project, I am so so shocked at the support and response I’ve had.
“Even the kids who come in for an ice cream after school have given me 10p and made sure I put it in the pot towards the project.”
Annabella, who goes by the surname of Williams on Facebook, is surprised and grateful for the near-100 group members on the social media site who have already donated and supported the movement to bring together donations of food, gifts, crackers and decorations for lonely residents.
Over the next few months, the grandmother and the team are appealing for donations of food and gifts, as their motto is “everyone deserves a Christmas dinner, a Christmas pud, a Christmas gift and a cracker”.
The group hopes to get in touch with Age Concern, to ‘nominate’ those who they think would enjoy the gift.
Annabella wishes to emphasise that it is not just the elderly who can receive this offer of help.
For details on the project call 07756971511.