In a message to the Prestwich People Facebook page, Raymond explained that he is recently widowed.
"I have been gaining the courage to write this so here goes... I lost my wife earlier this year, and I am dreading this first Christmas without her," he said. "Our only son is now grown up and has a family of his own, lives in Australia and is unable to get back here to spend Christmas with me – I can't get on a plane to travel that far to see him. I don't want to be a burden but are there any community meet ups on Christmas Day where I can go and meet others so I don't have to spend the day eating my dinner alone? Any help would be much appreciated."
The online community group didn't waste any time in giving the widower offers to join them for Christmas dinner, reported Manchester Evening News.
"Raymond... I know about that first Christmas alone without your Wife. I am on my 3rd this year without my Husband," posted Jacqueline Steele Walkden. "Please accept one of the very generous offers from our marvellous Prestwich people. Distraction is the one thing that helps weaken our grief and living alone for the first time in our lives."
"Raymond. Come to ours and eat with us," said Paul Millar. "Were going for a pint in the Bay Horse Whitefield lunchtime. I’ll come and pick you up. We live locally. (sic)"
"Your more than welcome to come and spend Christmas with me and my family," said Danielle Mawdsley. "My grandad also lost his wife a couple of years ago and he is on his own. You'll get on like a house on fire. You are very much more than welcome xxx (sic)"
"Raymond, you are not a burden, there are a lot of us out there that would happily offer company and dinner to anyone alone," commented Gayle Pitcher Crockford. "You did the right thing posting here as otherwise we would never have known. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and maybe you could spend another day with myself and our family after all Christmas is just one day of the year."
So far, Raymond hasn't responded to any of the offers of Christmas Day company, but he certainly has plenty to choose from.
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