The staff and apprentices of Mears, North Lanarkshire, who also provide home care and support to people in the region, have taken on the challenge of tackling isolation and loneliness. Concentrating on the elderly within their community they have arranged a traditional festive lunch for 50 older people. The lunch will be held in the restaurant of the North Lanarkshire College on Thursday 4December at 12 noon.Willie Docherty Managing Director of Mears North Lanarkshire said: “We’re really aware of the growing issue of loneliness and how badly it affects older people. With the winter nights closing in it can get much worse as so many of the elderly have no family and can feel even more isolated at this time of year.“We decided to arrange a free three course festive lunch for Mears service users and also got in touch with the charities Contact the Elderly and Alzheimer’s Scotland (Remember Well Group).They loved the idea and were able to reach out to the older people who would really benefit from the lunch.”“Contact the Elderly were experiencing transport problems and were concerned about how the older people would get to and from the event. I’m proud to say that our staff have come up trumps again and have offered to provide transport. We’re all looking forward to the lunch and hope that everyone will have a fantastic time.”Mears approached the North Lanarkshire College about catering for the event and they readily agreed to their students cooking the meal and for the lunch could be held in the restaurant which has been decorated for the festive season. Not to be left out of the festivities Mears apprentices have volunteered to meet the guests, take their coats and escort them to the restaurant.As a final shine to the celebration the Celtic sporting legend Bertie Auld will be attending, welcoming guests and telling stories about his career as a footballer. David Miles, Mears CEO, will be joining in the celebrations together with Jim McCabe Leader of North Lanarkshire Council and Jim Smith Deputy Leader of North Lanarkshire Council.