GENEROUS souls across East Lancashire will be working hard to ensure that no-one in the area has to be lonely this Christmas Day.

Several schemes will be up and running in various locations offering a festive meal and good company on December 25.

And if people are fearing they won’t have anyone to pull a Christmas cracker with, or share the Queen’s Speech, the message is that they will be made welcome.

Around 70 people are already signed up for a Christmas Day gathering at the Central Methodist Church in Burnley.

Rev Phil Clarke, the superintendent minister for the circuit, said: “It is for anyone who is on their own on Christmas Day.”

Church members will also be taking out meals to the elderly and infirm who cannot reach their headquarters in Hargreaves Street.

Support workers at Maundy Grange in Accrington will be extending their services to the homeless and disadvantaged into Christmas and the New Year.

Their Abbey Street centre will be open from 11am to 3pm for a festive feed and they will also be open for three hours from noon on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day.

Earth Angel Holistic Centre, in Bacup Road, Rawtenstall, is offering a yuletide feast for the first time, with donations of turkey, vegetables and trimmings already hoarded. The venue’s bistro will be open from 10am to 2.30pm and people wishing to hand over last-minute items or want to attend can call owner Sean Cosgrave on 01706 222198.

And Hope Church in Barnoldswick will also be serving up a Christmas meal, at the Majestic Church Centre, off the main town square.

People from West Craven and surrounding areas who would like to take part are being asked to contact Maisie Vencock on 01282 816930 or Ann Matthews on 01282 852235 — but the deadline is Friday.