Coffee shop team prepare to open on Christmas day

Home Coffee''Home Coffee, Albert Road on Christmas Day 2016.
Home Coffee''Home Coffee, Albert Road on Christmas Day 2016.
The Eldon Arms has reopened with new owners Alexander Handley, Andy Hobbs and Sean Barnes at the helm. 'Picture : Habibur Rahman PPP-180316-185237006

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THE owners of a coffee shop are embracing the spirit of Christmas by opening their doors on December 25.

Home Coffee have invited members of the community to visit their coffee shops to help tackle loneliness for the second year running.

Russell Ison, co-owner and partner at Home Coffee.

Russell Ison, co-owner and partner at Home Coffee.

From 9am to 12pm, the team will open their Albert Road and Cosham High Street shops, offering mince pies and tea and coffee to people to enjoy.

Russell Ison, director and co-owner of Home Coffee said: ‘Last Christmas we did it as an experiment, opening the doors at Albert road and our Cosham shop on the morning of Christmas day for anybody who was on their own.’

‘That’s the time when families are together opening presents and those people who are on their own can feel the loneliness a bit more’

Russell explained that the event was for anybody who might be feeling a little lonely this Christmas.

He said: ‘If you work in the forces or you’re an international student that can’t get home for Christmas then please pop in and see us. Last year we had over 60 people turn out.

‘One woman stopped outside on her mobility scooter while on her way to the Salvation Army for Christmas dinner.

‘Her carer had forgotten to charge her scooter for the trip so she became stuck.

‘I sat with her at the Albert Road branch. We had a chat and enjoyed a mince pie and coffee. She was really touched and quite tearful. One of our regulars turned up, packed the lady and scooter into his SUV and drove her to the Salvation Army himself. To me that’s what Christmas is all about.’

On the same day, in the Cosham branch, one member of the public was unsure about attending. Russell recalled: ‘My colleague mentioned he could see a man pacing in the high street outside.

He went out and asked him to come in for a coffee. The man explained it was his first Christmas without his late wife.

‘He came in for a couple of hours and chatted with other visitors and our regulars. Some played boardgames. It’s what it’s all about.’

The Home Coffee team have just set up their own charity, Good Company.

Russell is set to abseil down the spinnaker tower next year to raise money.

Stephen Morgan MP, who recently became an honorary patron for the charity said: ‘I look forward to supporting the team and this important cause as they go from strength to strength.

‘Good Company is exactly the kind of project that makes me so proud to represent Portsmouth”.