A KIND-HEARTED Shotton man has revealed his plans to help his community at Christmas and beyond.

The Leader reported last year how James Hunt, a 40-year-old former soldier, hosted a Christmas dinner at his parents’ home for seven residents who would otherwise have been alone.

This year Mr Hunt announced his intention to make the dinner bigger and better, as well as confirming his plans for a range of new schemes to help his community in other ways.

Mr Hunt, who also runs a community group called Nanny Biscuit (which he named in memory of his grandmother), said this year’s festive dinner will take place on December 27 between 1pm and 7pm at the VC Hub in Rowley’s Lane, Shotton.

The venue can seat up to 50, he said, but comes with a new challenge he hopes to overcome.

He aims to raise £2,400 in order to have the kitchen at the hub, a community venue for veterans, rewired and brought up to scratch.

The Leader:

The VC Hub in Rowley’s Drive, Shotton

Mr Hunt said: “On top of that £2,400 I’m going to need to raise money for food and presents for the children.

“The total I’m hoping to raise about £4,000. If we don’t raise enough this year for the kitchen, we will have to hire out kitchen equipment.”

Tony Penny, project co-ordinator at the VC Hub, said: “By supporting James, it is supporting the local community.

“If we can get the kitchen up and running, the benefits are there for the community as a whole because it gives them another facility.”

Mr Hunt is now arranging a series of fundraising activities, as well as a GoFundMe page and plans to approach the business community for sponsorship, adding that if the kitchen can be rewired he hopes to use it to deliver free cooking classes for the community via his group Nanny Biscuit.

Through the group, he also hopes that in the future he can offer free holistic therapies to elderly residents, those facing poverty and disabled residents, as well as a ‘DIY SOS’ service.

Mr Hunt said he turned his gas company, Cafgas and Domestic Oil Services CIC, into a not-for-profit organisation.

He hopes to implement a scheme in the near future which will see £15 from each £60 boiler service go towards a service for an elderly or disabled Flintshire resident.

This year’s Christmas dinner at the VC Hub will include entertainment including magician Nick Marshall, Star Wars characters, a singer and a band, a visit from Father Christmas and a grotto.

Mr Hunt encouraged residents who may be lonely and families who may be struggling financially over the festive period to reach out and make use of the event, explaining: “The hardest thing about last year was not getting people helping or getting this money - it was getting people to come.

“No one likes to admit they’re lonely. People have pride.

“But at end of day if anyone is feeling lonely in any way, pick up the phone. They can come and be part of this family.”

Mr Penny added: “No matter what you’re going through, there’s someone out there who has been there and been through that same experience you’re going through.

“If you can get to something like this Christmas dinner, it is about that mutual peer-to-peer support that you get just by being at these events.”

To find out more about the Christmas dinner, any of Nanny Biscuit’s activities or how to support Mr Hunt’s community schemes, search for the Nanny Biscuit page on Facebook, call Mr Hunt on 07739 929 591 or email info.nannybiscuit@gmail.com