An Indian restaurant in Darlington is opening its doors on Christmas Day for those who need a warm space and some hot food.

The team at Babul’s in Darlington has decided to open the restaurant on Sunday, December 25 and will be offering hot food and hot drinks for anyone who feels they need it.

The cost-of-living crisis has meant venues across the town, including Darlington's East End Club, are openeing their doors to take the strain off.

Babul’s in Barnard Castle has opened on Christmas Day for the last four years and as the Darlington restaurant opened in October, the team has decided that this year Darlington will a more central location for people to meet.

The Northern Echo: Babul's is welcoming people on Christmas Day for hot food and a warm spaceBabul's is welcoming people on Christmas Day for hot food and a warm space (Image: Sarah Caldecott/Newsquest)

Read more: Darlington curry house gets prestigious accolade at the British Curry Awards

Zak Ahmed from Babul’s said: “We wanted to open to say ‘if you need help, just come along.’

“We don’t want people to feel bad about accepting food or anything. We want it to be a welcoming party-feel rather than have people think they’re charity cases.

“No one should be alone and cold at this time of year and our parents always said that we should help people in need and we’ll continue to do that however we can. We want it to be a nice, relaxed atmosphere with no judgement and people can just come in and spend a few hours here.

“There’s so many people at the moment needing a bit of help right now so we want to make this a community effort. If people want to come and eat, they can, if people would like to help out, that’s also welcome.”

Read more: Darlington club will open its doors to help keep homeless warm on Christmas Day

In 2020 and 2021, the Babul’s team delivered food from the Barnard Castle restaurant to locals in need, but now that the Darlington eatery is established in the town, Zak hopes they will be able to help more people.

Zak was keen to emphasise that the restuarant is not exclusively open for homeless people, but anyone who is in need.

The restaurant is open to the public from 11am until 3pm on Christmas Day and the team at babul’s are asking for volunteers to help out, not just in the running of the day, but in the days building up to it.

If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Babul’s or fill out the volunteer form here.

Read next:

If you want to read more great stories, why not subscribe to your Northern Echo for as little as £1.25 a week. Click here.