Families showed real Christmas spirit

TIME FOR GIVING: The McNulty family serve up Christmas dinner to the homeless at their Dewsbury cafe, Grilled and Filtered.
TIME FOR GIVING: The McNulty family serve up Christmas dinner to the homeless at their Dewsbury cafe, Grilled and Filtered.

TWO big-hearted families spent this Christmas selflessly giving back to their communities.

The McNulty family shelved their usual festive celebrations to open their cafe to the homeless in memory of much-loved partner and father Craig.

And millionaire lottery-winners Susan and Michael Crossland threw a Christmas Eve party for local children.

Sharon McNulty decided she would open family cafe Grilled and Filtered when daughter Gracie, 10, said she wanted to fulfil her late father’s wish of feeding the needy on December 25.

The family did him proud on Tuesday, serving a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings to 50 people in the Bradford Road cafe.

Sharon, 46, said: “We’re all thinking of Craig today. It’s all in his honour.”

The 38-year-old joiner and roofer died in August after falling while doing work on a friend’s roof.

“Christmas this year wouldn’t have been the same without Craig so when Gracie told us she wanted to do what Daddy had always wanted we all agreed,” Sharon said. “I know he’d be so happy that we are doing what he wants.”

Meanwhile, the Crosslands welcomed 48 children into their local pub for a Christmas Eve party.

Lucky Susan and Michael, of Upper Hopton, netted £1.2m in a lottery win – but that hasn’t stopped them getting involved in community life.

The pair dressed as Mr and Mrs Santa and organised party games and a disco for the party at the Bull’s Head pub in Ravensthorpe.

“Santa came out and gave them all a present,” said Susan, 48. “It was a lovely thing for the kids.”

Susan lost her voice halfway through the party and told the children: ‘I’ve been shouting at Santa to get your presents ready!’

Using her late father Barrie’s numbers – 6, 9, 13, 18, 29, 30 – Susan hit the jackpot in 2008.

The couple have carried on their charity work since their win, collecting money for the Hollybank Trust, sponsoring guide dogs and organising a charity football team.

Susan, who is a full-time carer for her sister Joanne, said: “We could just go and hand a cheque over, but we like to get hands-on and do things.”

The pair have always wanted to stay local and said they will carry on giving back to the community. “All our friends are here – we didn’t want to lose them,” said Susan. “We love them all to bits. This is our way of giving a bit back.”