Cardiff chip shop to open on Christmas Day for homeless

Staff at Victoria Fish Bar Image copyright Victoria Fish Bar
Image caption Staff want to make Christmas Day "special" for the city's homeless

Staff at a fish and chip takeaway will open on Christmas Day to offer free meals to the homeless and elderly.

The owner of Victoria Fish Bar in Cardiff said he wants to put a "smile on the faces" of vulnerable people.

Mohammed Nazakat, his staff and their families will serve up meals for three hours on 25 December.

And other local people have added their support to hand out warm clothes and gift boxes to those who come along on the day.

The chip shop posted an invite on social media for anyone homeless, elderly or vulnerable to "experience this great time together" with free meals, drinks and snacks.

Image copyright Victoria Fish Bar
Image caption Free warm clothes and gift boxes will also be provided outside the shop

"The community has been so good to us as a business that we wanted to do something for people who don't have the luxury of having a warm meal at a loved one's house," said Mr Nazakat.

"Homelessness has been on the rise in Cardiff and we need to make a difference and look after each other.

"We just want to make it special for them and for us.

"Who knows how many will come but we have extra supplies coming on Christmas Eve to be ready.

"The money doesn't matter. We don't want donations, but people have offered to come and help put a smile on faces."

Mr Nazakat has been "overwhelmed" by the reaction to his social media post, which has attracted support from across the world.

He has owned the shop in Whitchurch for 12 years and intended the gesture last year, until a surprise gift scuppered his plans.

"When I told my wife what I wanted to do she burst into tears because she had booked a surprise holiday but said it was such a lovely idea," he said.

"The staff were more than happy to come in. Even their families are joining in."

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