The Haberdashery is a self-described “community-minded cafe” with locations in the trendy North London suburbs of Stoke Newington and Crouch End.
This festive season, the establishment is set to practice what it preaches by putting on a very special Christmas lunch.
As depicted in this year’s John Lewis advert, many people, especially older people, can go lonely over the holidays.
According to Age Concern UK, some 500,000 elderly people will spend Christmas Day alone this year.
And while many of us may struggle to find a way to help, The Haberdashery’s owners have decided to tackle the issue head on.
On December 25, Massimo Bergamin and Thomas Leon will open the doors of their Stoke Newington cafe to serve up a delicious dinner to local elderly residents who would otherwise spend the day alone.
In the company of their neighbours, guests will tuck into a tasty roast with all the trimmings, which will be followed by plenty of fun and games including Secret Santa, bingo and live entertainment.
Explaining what inspired him to put on the Christmas lunch, Massimo told Village Green: “A few years back I was talking to a regular customer about his plans for Christmas and he told me he was going to be alone. This really struck a chord with me a I genuinely, as most people, never really thought of anyone being alone on such a day.”
Massimo added he hopes the day will help guests form ties in the community, helping to tackle loneliness all year round.
He told the Hackney Citizen: “The best thing would be if the guests got to know each other so they keep in touch. That’s what’s Christmas is supposed to be about: not buying and selling, but time to spend with other people.”
The day will also have a family feel, with Massimo’s family jetting over from Italy to help out with the arrangements.
“My mother will help run the kitchen and peel the potatoes and my father will sit in the back and chat,” Massimo explained.
Massimo and Thomas also called for help from the local community and businesses, to volunteer on the day, send in Secret Santa gifts or donate food and funds to the cause.
The owners will use the money to book taxis for any of their 25 guests who may need them.
Any money not used on the day will be donated to local charities who work with the elderly.
In Massimo’s latest Facebook update, he revealed the cafe’s fruit and veg supplier, has provided the Christmas veg, while a local butchers have kindly gifted a large turkey.
There are also enough gifts for 50 guests, while money donations had broken the £2,100 mark, leading Massimo to admit he was “touched” by the public’s kindness.
He told us: “Everyone has responded with incredible generosity and compassion. Touching gestures of small and big generosity happened and happen daily since the news has spread.”
It’s not too late to get involved. To donate money to The Haberdashery Christmas Lunch visit their PayPal page or to find out how to help visit The Haberdashery on their Facebook page or email: firstname.lastname@example.org