The Christmas Dinner (Leeds)


Your story

Volunteers to collaborate to provide an amazing Christmas Day experience for young people who have left the Care System, and who would be alone on Christmas Day were it not for this event.

Group introduction

The Christmas Dinner Project, Leeds (TCD)

This event takes place on Christmas Day, is in support of young people leaving the care system, as their first Christmas (having left the care system) is often the most difficult for them. Many of them have very negative memories of past Christmases, and there is nobody for them to share experiences and/or memories with.

A delicious, magical, Christmas day dinner is arranged for up to 50 young people leaving the Care System. These young people are aged between 18 and 25. Too often Christmas day is a reminder of everything they never had, and sadly it can also be a dreaded day for many of them.

The Christmas Dinner is a life-changing, lifesaving experience of warmth and abundance. A time to have a good laugh, make new friends and feel valued. It will be a safe and welcoming place for Care leavers to spend Christmas day: a great Christmas meal, lovely gifts and festive fun.

The Christmas Dinner is an annual project founded by the poet Lemn Sissay MBE, for local communities to provide a Christmas Day for care leavers aged between 18 and 25, in their local community.

One they’ll never forget.

The Vision: no care leaver will be alone on Christmas Day

The Mission: To mobilise local communities across the UK to put on scrumptious and magical Christmas Day dinners for these young Care Leavers, turning Christmas into a time to cherish.

It’s really a great day to be part of – to find out what we’ve done so far, have a look at our photos on our Facebook page:

How would this funding have an impact on your community?

If we are fortunate enough to receive funding from yourselves, this would be used towards the cost of the event, and specifically towards the cost of taxis to pick up and drop off our guests (care leavers) on the day. The future/long term benefit to our guests attending on the day is giving them a positive experience to take forward. Many of them have no positive/happy memories of Christmas and find it difficult to relate when speaking to others about Christmas/what they did over the festive period. Attending The Christmas Dinner and also allow them to understand and share with others instead of having to avoid such a discussion.

"Lemn Sissay, MBE, and brainchild behind these projects across the UK:

‘Many care leavers are sat in flats, B&B’s and hostels, away from family, or sofa surfing and some are indeed living on the streets on their own at Christmas. Christmas is a reminder of everything they never had… I know because I’ve shared their experiences.”"

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