WHEN you are sitting down to your Christmas dinner today, spare a thought for those working or having to be away from home over the festive holidays.
The emergency services are on call, hospitals will sill be looking after patients, railway crews are out and about and council and utility company staff are among those also on duty making sure you can celebrate Christmas happily and safely.
And you can't get much more unlike the traditional image of a family round the groaning festive table than the pair of Idle rowers who are taking part in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.
Chris Nicholl and James Tordoff have left family and friends behind to take part in the gruelling race which started on December 12 and has seen them cover more than 700 nautical miles in the two weeks to date.
Rather than a roast with all the trimmings, socialising or watching the Queen's Christmas message on TV the pair will be in the middle of the ocean eating a rehydrated meal.
Chris said: "We intend to stop the boat and have a hot rehydrated chicken tikka with rice meal for Christmas Day as most of our other meals will be cold.
"We have a Terrys chocolate orange each for dessert. We have some Santa hats to put on and will be playing a Christmas playlist on our Bluetooth speaker.
"We will also call our partners back home.
"It will be tough to be away from our loved ones at Christmas but each day we will be getting closer to seeing them again.
"We will miss our friends, family, and all the festive food and drink.
"Santa will deliver our presents at home and will be waiting for us when we get back. Although seeing our family when we get to Antigua with be the best Christmas present."
Back in Bradford, council staff will be doing their best to help people in need with dozens of workers on duty over the Christmas period.
Bradford Enablement and Support Team and home care staff will be working with vulnerable adults and children while in Extra Care housing schemes staff provide personal care for people in their own homes also including assisting with preparing meals, talking and having fun with service uses and supporting people with health and wellbeing.
There are also childrens homes and care leavers staff while the Safe and Sound service is a 24-hour response service for people if they have had falls or other incidents.
On call over the holidays are members of the Environmental Health department, the Emergency Planning Team, Highways for gritting, winter maintenance the emergency social care services for children and the building control team.
Terry Moore, care manager in Bradford Councils Extra Care Services, said: Christmas Day is no different to any other day. People still have their own care needs.
"We dont have extra staff to cover. Its just like any other day.
Among the locations where Council staff will be on duty is Mary Seacole Court, an Extra Care Housing scheme which has individual apartments for older people who receive personal care at the same time as being able to live as independently as possible.
Bradford Council provides personal care services to these people, but the scheme is run and managed by Housing 21.
Among the communal activities in the run-up to the festivities were a Christmas Party last Friday and a Christmas dinner held on Christmas Eve and staff will be helping entertain residents during the rest of the holiday period.
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