A BIG-hearted Gornal nurse has vowed to make sure no elderly people are left without a Christmas dinner this festive season.

Anne Houghton plans to cook and deliver Christmas dinners to elderly people across the borough after seeing first-hand how loneliness and isolation affects the lives of older people.

The mum-of-five is currently on maternity leave from her role as a ward sister at Russells Hall Hospital and has decided to use the time to give back to her community.

Anne said: "We have patients who don’t have any visitors, patients who do not have anybody to go home to and some who struggle financially at Christmas.

"I have never done anything like this before and I wanted to do something but didn’t know what. There’s nothing really out there for the elderly.

"I normally have to work on Christmas Day, so being on maternity leave this year I probably won’t have a chance to do this again."

Teaming up with her four eldest daughters, Anne has launched The Shirley Ash Feed the Elderly at Christmas Appeal, named in honour of her much-loved late grandmother.

Anne is calling on businesses and individuals to donate any food they can to the appeal so that she can make a bumper load of Christmas dinners to spread some festive cheer.

She plans to spend Christmas Eve preparing the meals with her daughters Chelsey, aged 19, Shannon aged 20, Toni-Ann, aged 11 and Rubie, aged 9.

She will then will personally deliver the food to the elderly on Christmas Day.

Anne, who gave birth to baby Summer four months ago, says she has been blown away with the support the appeal has received so far from businesses in Gornal and donations flooding in on her Just Giving page.

She said: "Everybody in Gornal, every business, everybody has been so happy to help."

To launch the appeal, Anne is asking anyone who wishes to make a donation to get in touch by October 31 so that she can plan the meals and numbers.

Anne is also calling on care agencies, churches and GPs to nominate individuals who they feel would benefit from the appeal by November 20.

The 39-year-old is currently planning on cooking in the kitchen at her Gornal home but is asking for anyone who may be able to offer the use of a catering kitchen over Christmas to also get in touch.

Donations of traditional Christmas food are welcomed, such as turkey crowns, pigs in blankets, potatoes, vegetables and gravy along with plastic cutlery and food boxes with lids.

She will be covering the Gornal, Dudley, Sedgley, Kingswinford, Pensnett and Russells Hall areas.

Anne added: "I understand that Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone but a donation of any kind may be the difference between being able to provide 20 meals or 200."

Anyone who wishes to make a donation should email Anne on annewhorton@hotmail.co.uk