Volunteers across the country will be spending Christmas cooking up a feast for care leavers in their communities.
The Christmas Dinners project was founded in 2013 by poet Lemn Sissay OBE, who grew up in the care system. The aim is give the youngsters a day they will never forget and each year local groups across the UK pull together to do just that.
In Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, the Action Transport Theatre team are currently fundraising for their fourth annual event. Like all of the projects, the pandemic means they’re having to do things a bit differently for a second year running.
Thirty care leavers from across Cheshire will be given Christmas shopping vouchers, as well as food hampers based around recipes from a cookbook designed especially for care leavers and a slow cooker. Top chefs from across the area will also be filming tutorials on how to whip up the meals.
Jess Egan-Simon of Action Transport Theatre told The Big Issue: “We are a children and young people’s theatre company that wants to give young people a voice, especially if they’ve not had a voice before. So this really aligns with what we are trying to do.
“It brings the community together. We have so many people getting in touch saying they want to show their kids a different side of Christmas. To see Christmas is about helping others. I’ve got two kids, and for children who are lucky and privileged to know there are people out there who don’t have that is important.