Portsmouth burger van owner to cook breakfast for lonely and homeless on Christmas Day

A GENEROUS businessman who is giving up his Christmas morning to cook for those who are lonely or homeless says he can’t wait to see everyone.

Tuesday, 22nd December 2020, 7:00 am

Burger van owner Billy Willett, 58, has opened up his van in Commercial Road on Christmas Day for the past few years, cooking up bacon and sausage baps for anyone who is either sleeping rough or just wants someone to talk.

With lockdowns things have been touch-and-go this year, but by virtue of being outdoors and a charitable venture, his plan can still go ahead.

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Billy Willett, owner of the Happy Eater in Commercial Road, Portsmouth. Picture: Sarah Standing (180857-2710)

Billy said: ‘I’ve been doing this for a little while now and it’s always been so worth it.

‘It’s nice to see people who would otherwise be alone having a chat on Christmas morning – most of them wouldn’t have seen a soul that day otherwise.

‘So many people have had a really tough year with this virus, so I hope this will be something for them to look forward to.

‘You can’t imagine how it must feel to spend Christmas alone. My heart honestly breaks for these people.’

Billy says one woman, an 86-year-old who lives nearby, has already promised to turn up because she’s looking forward to it so much.

With Portsmouth being moved into tier three coronavirus restrictions – and then into tier four at the weekend – restaurants and bars have already shut up shop.

But some have donated food that would otherwise have gone to waste to the Happy Eater van – and he knows the demand for food will be high.

He said: ‘Loads of people have been asking me if I’m going to do it this year, it's been crazy.

‘Last year we fed 68 people, but it’s going to be even more this time around, I just know it.

‘The chap from The Ship Anson pub has given me all his sausages and bacon so we’ve got enough to feed a small army.

‘I'll probably be handing out free food to those who need it for weeks, it's great to see how generous everyone has been.’

Billy will be in his burger van outside Debenhams until around midday.

Anyone who is lonely on Christmas Day is welcome to just turn up for some hot food and a chat, he added.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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