With the cost-of-living crisis hitting vulnerable people even harder this winter, a number of generous businesses and community groups across the county are offering homeless and elderly people free Christmas meals.

A recent survey revealed that two-thirds of adults in the UK are worried about being able to afford Christmas dinner this year with some people planning to use items from food banks for their festive meal.

In an attempt to spread Christmas cheer, several kind-hearted individuals like Daniel Watson from Blackburn, have offered to pay for struggling families’ Christmas dinners.

But for those who can’t afford to cook their own meals, homeless people, or people who would be spending their Christmas alone, here are the restaurants, takeaways and community groups in East Lancashire serving free Christmas meals for the most vulnerable.

1. Meal Preps in Oswaldtwistle

Lancashire Telegraph: Meal PrepsMeal Preps (Image: Meal Preps)

Meal Preps, a healthy eating restaurant which opened in Oswaldtwistle in October, is running a communal Christmas meal because the owner felt like it was time to give back to the community.

The restaurant is hosting a free Christmas meal on December 24, for the homeless, needy, lonely and elderly and is able to serve up to 20 people in one sitting as the owner is committed to feeding everyone who arrives. The meal will include a starter, main, dessert and hot drink and food will be served from 12pm to 6pm on Christmas Eve. Meal Preps is located in Union Road, Oswaldtwistle and will be open from 10am to 7pm. No booking is necessary.

2. The Shift Café, Burnley

The Shift Café in Burnley is hosting a special event on December 25 for anyone who has nowhere to go on Christmas and wants to spend time with other people. The Loom in Burnley have offered to help by cooking everyone a free Christmas dinner which will be served at 12pm and then everyone will head down to the Shift Cafe for a sing and a dance at around 3pm.

The Shift Café is located above The Swan, across from Boots on 44 St James Street. Guest are advised to contact the café to confirm their space.

3. Islington House, Blackburn

Lancashire Telegraph: The Islington in Blackburn, and manager, Lisa BrownThe Islington in Blackburn, and manager, Lisa Brown (Image: Paul Lynch)

Islington House, in Bolton Road, Blackburn, which is run by the Ashley Foundation, will be providing a free Christmas dinner to anyone who is sleeping rough and has nowhere to go on Christmas Day.

The lunch will be served between 1.30pm and 3pm and is being supported by kind-hearted volunteers who will be helping serve the food on the day. The offer of a free Christmas dinner is open to anyone who is street homeless and doesn’t have anywhere to go.

4. The Wellsprings, Sabden

The Wellsprings restaurant in Sabden, is giving elderly people a free Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. Up to 10 people will sit at the table together and enjoy each other’s company and there will also be a small gift for each guest.

Zak Marhraoui, owner of the restaurant, has been running this scheme for six years now and was inspired to start it after forgetting to wish his mother a happy Christmas when she lived in Tangier and realised there must be a lot of lonely elderly people in the same situation. The restaurant is located on Clitheroe Road, Sabden.

5. Curry on The Street, Burnley

Curry On The Street is one of Lancashire’s biggest charities and has teamed up with Healthier Heroes CIC to provide struggling people a hot meal on Christmas Day. James Foy, founder of Curry On The Street, as well as other volunteers from both organisations will be providing hot meals from 6pm on December 25 at Bancroft House, Burnley.

Chicken curry with chicken biriani, tea, coffee, and warm clothes will be available for vulnerable people including anyone suffering with addiction or mental health issues, homeless people, veterans, or anyone unemployed or struggling with work.

6. Clifton Arms, Blackburn

Lancashire Telegraph: Carole Davis (right) with sponsor of the fish and chips event Theresa GoldsonCarole Davis (right) with sponsor of the fish and chips event Theresa Goldson (Image: Carole Davis)

The Clifton Arms, in Grimshaw Park, will be giving away around 35 fish and chip dinners to the poor, lonely and vulnerable on Friday, December 23 to look after people in the community, particularly the elderly, who may be struggling but are too afraid to ask for help. The pub has teamed up with the owner of the Old Mill Hill chippy in New Chapel Street to offer free fish and chip dinners to those in need.

7. The Free Community Meal, Accrington

An Accrington charity, The Free Community Meal, is a weekly outreach event run by Ernest Street Baptist Chapel serving the people of Hyndburn by providing free hot meals as well as offering advice and a chance to talk and socialise. The charity is offering a free Christmas dinner today (December 20) from 5pm and everyone is invited. The dinner is taking place at Ernest Street Baptist Chapel in Accrington.

8. Burnley Wood Community Centre, Burnley

Burnley Wood Community Centre will be open on Christmas day and is welcoming anyone who will be spending Christmas alone to come down and enjoy a free meal and hot drinks. The event is open from 10am and is taking place at the community centre on 96 Springfield Road.