Community Shop in Gainsborough is offering people a free hot meal on Christmas Day

Eric Aldogan
Eric Aldogan

A father of two will be away from his children on Christmas Day as he has decided to offer his shop’s customers a free hot meal.

Eric Aldogan has been running Community Shop which is based in the Gainsborough Uphill Community Centre in Riseholme Road, Gainsborough, since 2016 after it reopened after four years without a tenant.

Eric, 37, said: “I have been in Gainsborough since 2004 and I know there are many people who don’t cope at this time of year and they don’t have family to support them.

“I have owned the Community Shop for two years and we have always opened on Christmas Day and I see people coming in to buy a cold sandwich and it breaks my heart.

“So I have decided to offer people a hot meal. I’m not offering a big meal, I wish I could, but it will be a 12” pizza and a can of drink.

“I spoke to my wife and she agreed we could do it.

“I’m not sure how many people will come along. We will be open from 8.30am and 9pm and the food will be available at 3.30pm.

“It will all be out on a table and they can come and take it away.

“It does mean I will be away from my family though. My wife wants me to be at home that day with my kids but I promised myself I would be in the shop as I want to do this as it’s a nice thing to help people.

“It’s not a big thing to offer but if it helps people then I am happy to do it.

“Also I hope this might encourage other businesses in the offer to do the same.

“There are lots of businesses, even if they can only open for an hour.”

Eric has been getting praise for his lovely gesture by people on Facebook.

Mums and Dads of Lincolnshire said: “This is lovely, what an amazing man. I do love this fabulous town I live in, it is wonderful.”

Helen Proffitt said: “It wouldn’t hurt any of us to chip in, it only takes someone like this to make the first move.”

Suzanne Scawthon said: “He should definitely get some sort of recognition from the town for doing this.”

Jasmine Bayes said: “What an amazing man. Offering those who don’t have a warm meal on Christmas Day.”

Lianne Michelle Horwood said: “Wow, well done for thinking of others this Christmas. You’re a real gentleman. Hope you and your family have a good Christmas.”

Emmy Lou Ashby said: “Sir, you are an absolute gentleman. We need more people like you in the world.”