A PARTY for people who would otherwise spend Christmas Day alone is one step closer after a cash boost from local businesses.

Christmas Together is a free event for people in the Milford Haven area who, for whatever reason, won't be celebrating with friends or family.

Set up in 2012 by then-Mayor Cllr Guy Woodham, it is open to people of all ages who would like some companionship on what is often called the loneliest day of the year.

And local businesses have been happy to help support this year's event.

Cllr Woodham visited EuroSpar in Milford Haven on Tuesday (December 10) to pick up a cheque for almost £500 from store owner Chris Ward, who praised the idea.

The money was raised from two months' carrier bag sales, and includes match-funding of £150 from wholesaler A F Blakemore.

Donations have also been received from the Port of Milford Haven, Milford Haven Round Table, Valero, Milford Haven Town Council, Austwel Ltd and Tesco Milford Haven.

"The response has been so touching," said Cllr Woodham.

"While there are many recognised ‘good causes’, loneliness is one that still suffers from a certain degree of social stigma yet can have a very damaging effect on someone’s mental and physical wellbeing," said Cllr Woodham.

Held at the newly-refurbished Pill Social Centre, 100 people will enjoy a three-course festive meal with entertainment in a friendly family environment.

There is no charge to attend and free transport will also be provided to assist those who would not otherwise be able to make it.

If you live in Milford Haven or the surrounding area and will be alone on Christmas Day, or know someone else who may be alone, and would like to join in making this a great fun day then please contact Cllr Woodham with names and contact details by emailing christmastogether@hotmail.co.uk or telephoning 07411 287 533.

Anyone who is free on Christmas Day and would like to volunteer can also get in touch. The day runs from 11am until 6pm, and guests are welcome to attend some or all of the party.