Free festive lunch for all those in need

Janette Marsh and daughter Laura Marsh will be hosting a free Christmas dinner at the Newton Arms for people on their own

Janette Marsh and daughter Laura Marsh will be hosting a free Christmas dinner at the Newton Arms for people on their own

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A mother and daughter duo have teamed up to make sure no-one in Blackpool misses out on a special Christmas day.

Landlady Janette Marsh and her daughter Laura, 20, have organised for a group of people who would otherwise be alone to have a free dinner and presents at their pub.

Mrs Marsh, who runs the Newton Arms Pub in Normoss, was inspired to help out lonely people after her 20-year-old daughter, a carer, arrived home in tears on Christmas day last year.

She said: “Last year Laura cared for people who didn’t have anyone to spend Christmas day with.

“She came home in tears. I was heartbroken to see her feeling like that.

“She said there was one person who didn’t even realise it was Christmas day.

“They’re people who have no-one, it’s so sad.

“I said that’s not going to happen again this year.

“So we’re having people in for a free, three-course dinner.

“Our regulars have been helping us raise money and bringing in presents and some supermarkets have helped us out with the food.”

The pub, on Staining Road, will be open to paying customers on the afternoon of the 25th, and afterwards will remain open for a ‘second sitting’.

Staff have pledged to work for free for this time, while the pub hosts the special Christmas celebration.

And taxi company C Cabs has offered to ferry the guests to and from the pub for free on the day.

Mrs Marsh added: “The whole community wants to help. I can’t thank them all enough.

“It makes me feel like crying when I think about it, that there’s people out there that really need a Christmas.

“We’ll be making it fun for them, but I know it will be heart-rending.”

The pub will be welcoming mainly elderly people who have lost their partners, as well as a group of people from a brain injury charity.