Gracie helps serve up festive cheer for homeless people

Gracie in the festive cafe. PIC: Ross Parry
Gracie in the festive cafe. PIC: Ross Parry
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A devastated 10-year-old girl whose dad died this year persuaded her family to fulfil his wish - by shelving her own festivities to open a cafe for the homeless on Christmas Day.

Generous Craig McNulty, 38, tried to help the homeless as much as he could and decided to open the family cafe ‘Grilled and Filtered’ in Dewsbury to feed those less fortunate on December 25.

Before he got the chance he tragically died after falling while doing some work on a friend’s roof in August.

So this year daughter Gracie decided to fulfil her late father’s wish and told mum - Sharon McNulty - that she didn’t want to celebrate Christmas at home and instead asked her to cook up Christmas dinners for people living on the streets.

Taking a quick break from serving 50 people a full Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, Mrs McNulty, 46, said: “We’re all thinking of Craig today. It’s all in his honour. It’s been absolutely fantastic, just to see their faces when they walked in. 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.

“I know he’d be so happy that we are doing what he wants.”

Little Gracie added: “It’s been the best Christmas ever. I was just at school feeling sad about my dad so decided I wanted to do something to make him proud and this felt like the perfect thing.

“I haven’t asked my mum yet but I want to do this every year.” Mrs McNulty, who runs the cafe, met roofer and joiner Craig around 15 years ago.

They had daughter Gracie ten years ago and Craig changed his surname so the family would be united. Ms McNulty, of Batley, said: “I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting down on Christmas Day without him, so we’d rather think that we were making somebody else happy.”

The family are also raising money for Craig’s chosen charity, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance, and have made over £1,000 already.

Anyone wanting to help or donate can call 01924 457065.

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