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Young restauranteur ‘gives back’ providing free Christmas dinner to those in need

Every Christmas, owner of The Hungry Goat Restaurant in Dyan – Olivia Hughes – tries to give back something to her local community.

This year on December 22, Olivia is opening her big, green, barn-style doors to those most in need so that they can enjoy a ‘proper restaurant experience’ with hearty, traditional 3 course meals completely on the house.

Speaking to Tyrone I, the young restauranteur said: “As a family every year we would normally get involved with the Christmas Toy Drive but this year, with the rising cost of living, I wanted to use my business as a way to help others.

“I’ve been working closely with local charities within the community to organise everything and St Vincent De Paul’s have managed to organise a bus to bring 52 people to the restaurant. There’s also another 21 coming from Tullysaran but I’d really like to push the boat out as much as possible and have between 100 and 150 people attend altogether”.

The restaurant will be closed to the public between the hours of 12pm and 4pm to facilitate the dining experience, which will take place across several sittings to cope with the demand.

Olivia continued: “So many people this year just won’t get to experience a meal out at a restaurant, or maybe never have had the experience before.

“We have a mix of people coming from families with young children, to the elderly and homeless. It will hopefully be an unforgettable experience for them and a nice way to be together and socialise”.

“This is not about giving away free food. It’s about giving people an experience and to allow people to forget about their worries and strife for a few hours”.

As part of the build up to the event the restaurant are encouraging all customers to wear a Christmas jumper to dinner between Friday December 16 and Sunday December 18, with one meal being donated to a person in need per every Christmas jumper through the door!

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