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A message from GibSams: ‘No one should be alone at Christmas’

Every year, local charity GibSams organises a Christmas lunch for those who have no one with whom to spend the day.

This year, over 50 people have already reserved their seats for lunch at the Thi Vietnamese restaurant, in an event organised by GibSams with meals sponsored by PlayTech.

For the past few years, the GibSams Christmas lunch has seen people who would otherwise be alone forge friendships and connections.

Some of these friendships have lasted through the years and each year GibSams hopes this initiative will mean no one need be lonely during the festive season.

GibSams’ new CEO, Brenda Cuby, described how many people are struggling with loneliness and mental health due to loss, stress and anxiety.

The lunch will be held from 12.30pm to 3.30pm and will bring together people in a jovial environment over a buffet of Vietnamese food.

There will also be long tables which will encourage people to mix and establish connections and friendships.

"We've found [people] have created relationships which they have then taken on and developed further," Ms Cuby said.

She added there will also be volunteers mixing and ensuring people feel comfortable.

Ms Cuby described how even in a crowded room people can feel lonely.

"Sometimes you can be smiling on the outside but inwardly you're crying," she said.

"Sometimes it's just somebody else taking that time to sit down, have a conversation and ask a question, because a lot of loneliness stems from grief."

"Grief’s not something a lot of people are comfortable talking about so if somebody has lost someone that can be very lonely."

"A lot of times people don't know what to say so they say nothing, but maybe actually they want to talk about that grief that's causing that loneliness."

Ms Cuby said most people will go through a mental health struggle at some point in their life, as everyone will suffer a loss in their life.

"Even for the most resilient of people that will cause loneliness, stress and anxiety," she said.

She added that GibSams knows there is a need for this support throughout the year.

"We know there's a need because we know there're people sleeping on the street, we know there're people eating in Father Charlie's soup kitchen, we know there's a Women in Need shelter, [and] we know in the Retreat Centre there're people there," she said.

Ms Cuby expects there could be around 70 people attending on Christmas Day as although many pre-book but others turn up on the day.

"Nobody is Gibraltar should be alone, they should be able to come and spend three hours with other likeminded people," she said.

To book a space in the GibSams Christmas lunch email:

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