Stephen cooks up 80 dinners for the needy

Portadown Golf Club chef  Stephen Anderson with  Tracey Read
Portadown Golf Club chef Stephen Anderson with Tracey Read

A chef with a heart of gold is cooking Christmas dinner for a host of disadvantged and lonely people this year.

Stephen Anderson is a talented chef at Portadown Golf Club and renowned for his slow cooked beef but this year he is giving his time to cater for the needy.

The 50 year old father of two said he will be dishing up at least 80 meals for local people who would otherwise go without during the festive season.

Stephen who has been chef at the Golf Club for the past 13 years, said: “I just thought I would give something back to the community.

“It was initially for the members but then other people got involved.

“The first call I got was from the Simon Community and there is about 25/30 coming for meals on Sunday.

He explained that they will be putting the meals into plastic containers - turkey and ham, potatoes, roast potatoes, chipolata sausage, stuffing and gravy as well as vegetables.

They will be distributed to the homeless.

“That’ll be my good deed done for the year,” he said laughing.

However Stephen is no stranger to helping those less fortunate and already organises free Sunday meals for a few elderly members who have lost their wives and are alone.

And it’s not just the homeless who are getting a free dinner this year.

Simon has been inundated with people who are struggling to make ends meet this Christmas.

“We have been contacted by people living alone, people who are disadvantaged,” said Stephen.

“I got a call from one woman who said she also had no toys for the kids and no dinner for them.

“I told her I had some toys belonging to his own kids that I could give her,” said the kind-hearted chef.

“She said she is going to send someone out in a taxi on Sunday to collect them as she doesn’t drive.

“So I am going to feed the family and throw in a few toys as well,” said Stephen who is from Portaferry.

Another woman rang him as she had just got out of hospital and was alone.

Stephen said it’s his first time doing anything like this but had worked for a charity for blind people in London.

The whole idea was cooked up with a friend over a game of snooker last Wednesday night and within days it snowballed.

Asked how it was being funded, Stephen said: “I’m just doing it off my own bat.”

And he is being helped by his Golf Club colleagues.