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Where to get a free Christmas dinner in your community if you’re homeless or alone this year

Charities, grassroots groups and restaurants around the UK are offering free food and festive cheer for people experiencing homelessness on Christmas Day.

Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year for most of us but for people experiencing homelessness it can be particularly difficult.

Many people without a home are often excluded from the festivities and left alone on the streets. Loneliness can be a big issue while the freezing temperatures and inclement weather mean a white Christmas is the last thing you need.

Missing out on Christmas dinner is also a sad reality for many – but that’s where hundreds of people have offered to step in this year.

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While Marcus Rashford and Tom Kerridge have offered a way to whip up a turkey dinner on a budget for people who are just getting by, restaurants, grassroots groups and charities are opening their doors to homeless people on Christmas Day to offer up free food.

Here’s a round-up of places offering free food on Christmas Day thanks to the hard work of hundreds of people.

Wales

Victoria Fish Bar, Whitchurch, Cardiff – The Cardiff fish and chip shop is not only opening its doors to cook up free food for homeless people this Christmas Day, it’s also extending the offer to ‘NHS heroes’ as well as elderly and vulnerable people. Writing on Facebook, the owners said: “Unfortunately, not everyone has a place to go to and people will be suffering with loneliness and depression on this day, so whoever wants to come even just for a chat, feel free to do so. Thankfully, we have been successful over recent years but want this year to be the best one yet.”

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The Yeoman, Pembrokeshire – The Yeoman pub runs a pay-what-you-want Christmas dinner from 12pm until 3pm. While booking is preferred, the option to turn up for a hot meal is still on the table. The owner said on Facebook: “I love love LOVE spending Christmas Day with you all, and as someone who finds the festive period a little bit testing getting to share my day with you lot makes me a tonne happier!”

The Anchor restaurant, Swansea – A free bowl of soup and a hot drink will be on offer from The Anchor in Swansea’s marina. “Nobody should be cold and hungry in this weather,” said owner Sal Meseci.

Also offering up food for homeless people on Christmas Day is the Salvation Army in Pentre, which is offering hampers rather than a sit-down meal due to Covid. 

London

The Alexandra pub, Wimbledon, south London – The Wimbledon pub will be welcoming anyone who turns up alone from 12pm to 3pm on Christmas Day the chance to tuck into a free dinner. Announcing the return of the initiative on Twitter, ‘The Alex’ landlords said: “Our “don’t be on your own on Christmas day” dinner is going to be bigger than ever. No strings, no catch, if you’re going to be on your own on Christmas day, don’t be.”

Catford, south-east London – Free dinners are available at the All Saints Church from 12pm until 6pmwhile the Eat of Eden takeaway will also open up to homeless people on Christmas Day

Lewisham, south-east London – The Cummin’ Up restaurant and takeaway will be open from 1pm until 6pm on Christmas Day while soup will be available from Lewisham Islamic Centre from 4-6pm.

Brixton Soup Kitchen, south London – Brixton Soup Kitchen has served up 425,000 meals since it started in 2013 and will be adding to that number on Christmas Day. The community group on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton will be open until late on Christmas Day offering up food for anyone who needs it.

South and east of England

Spice Village, Southend – Suleman Raza, CEO of the Spice Village group, will open up his restaurant from 12pm to 5pm on Christmas Day to offer up a three-course Christmas dinner. He has also been asking customers to donate blankets, warm coats and gloves in the run-up to Christmas so the restaurant can distribute them as gifts on the 25th.

Worthing Soup Kitchen, Worthing – Worthing Soup Kitchen will be serving a sit-down meal on Christmas Day – with vegetarian and vegan options available, from 2pm to 4.30pm at the Pavilion Atrium on Worthing Pier.

Oxford Christmas Lunch, Oxford – The Oxford Christmas Lunch offering will be pared down due to Covid-19 restrictions but is still set to go ahead after organisers raised more than £2,000 ahead of the event. Meals will be available from The King’s Centre in the Osney area of the city throughout Christmas Day.

Eastern Promise, Cambridge – The fast food takeaway will open from 12pm until 2pm on Christmas Day to give out free food and have welcomed people experiencing homelessness as well as emergency and key workers to drop in.The restaurant’s manager Mohamed Ishfaq said: “If they’ve got nothing to look forward to on this special festive day, or will be struggling with difficulties on the street, we’d like them to know about the service we’re offering this year. Remember, we are here for you.”

Chai and Chapati, Luton – The Dunstable Road restaurant will open up on Christmas Day to allow people experiencing homelessness to pop in for a free meal from 1pm until 3pm.

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North of England

ROAST, Preston – The Preston city centre store will open between 11am and 3om on Christmas Day to offer up free food.

The Booth Centre, Manchester – The Booth Centre, based on Manchester’s Pimblett Street, will be open from 9am to 2pm on Christmas Day to serve up Christmas dinners.

Cornerstone, Manchester – The day centre operated by the Dioceses of Salford on Denmark Road will serve hot food on Christmas Day from 10:30am up until 3pm.

Lifeshare, Manchester – Lifeshare will host a Christmas dinner drop-in at the Chartered Ragged School on Manchester’s Dantczic Street. Open from 7am to 8pm on Christmas Day, the charity will not only be offering food but entertainment too with live music, bingo and a quiz all running throughout the day. Guests will also be able to access vital medical care and essentials like haircuts too.

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The Cheshire Cheese pub, Latchford, Warrington – Chef Andrew Dutton will be offering a full Christmas dinner for up to five struggling families at risk of homelessness. Dutton, who owns Asian takeaway Take a Bao, is also donating £1,000 to buy gifts for children to open on the day with Santa on-hand to give out the presents.

The People’s Kitchen and North East Homeless, Newcastle – The People’s Kitchen has been fundraising through its Feed a Friend for a Fiver campaign throughout December to offer up a free Christmas dinner to homeless people at its Bath Lane base on Christmas Day. Meanwhile, South Shields charity North East Homeless is hoping to serve up 200 Christmas dinners at Newcastle Central Station on Christmas Eve.

Knaresborough Masonic Hall, Knaresborough – Locals in North Yorkshire town Knaresborough will offer Christmas dinners for delivery, collection or dining in from 1pm on Christmas Day.

Mumtaz, Leeds – The owners of Indian restaurant Mumtaz on Leeds’ Chadwick Street were inspired by Marcus Rashford and Tom Kerridge for their Christmas Day offering. Posting on Instagram, they said: “Any person, whether needy or not, please come to us on Christmas Day (25 December) between 2pm to 4pm and we will provide you with a pre-made dinner to take away. We ask you to kindly prioritise and think about those who actually will need this bit of festive joy and kindness. We will prepare over 1,000 meals so there should be plenty.

“Covid has truly ruined our hospitality industry and the new restrictions have put us back on our knees but we again thank people like Marcus Rashford and Tom Kerridge who have inspired us and reminded us that we must always remember to be grateful and help others.”

Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, Huddersfield – Volunteers from Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Huddersfield will offer food and clothing at Market Place in the West Yorkshire town from 12pm until 3pm on Christmas Day.

Holy Trinity and St Judes Church, Halifax The Holy Trinity and St Judes Church in Halifax will be opening its church hall to cook up free Christmas dinners from 11:30am on Christmas Day.

Midlands

Tasti Jerk, Erdington, Birmingham – The Caribbean takeaway will open its doors to offer Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. The family behind the eatery posted on Instagram: “Many people do not have the resources to be able to have a good Christmas dinner. And at Tasti Jerk we empathise with them so we will be giving away free food on Christmas Day from 1pm till 4pm. Feel free to pass by.”

The Crown Hotel, Longton, Staffordshire – Guests who are experiencing homelessness or are struggling to get by will be able to enjoy a free two-course dinner at The Crown Hotel and will also each receive a Christmas present. Owners have also been collecting donations of toiletries and clothing in recent weeks to hand out at the meal. 

Padley Hub, Derby – The Padley Hub will be open from 10:30-1:30 on Christmas Day to provide hot food and emergency food parcels to those who are suffering from homelessness, hunger and poverty through out Derby.

Scotland

Social Bite – Edinburgh-based social enterprise Social Bite has been running their Festival of Kindness throughout December in a bid to distribute 300,000 meals this Christmas. Powered by donations left under trees in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen as well as London, many of the organisations supported by the campaign will be providing meals on Christmas Day in Scotland and beyond. 

Carlinda’s Sandwich Bar, Ayr The sandwich bar will open its doors early on Christmas Day to help out people experiencing homelessness. A bowl of lentil soap as well as a sausage sandwich will be on offer from 8am until noon.

Kindness Homeless Street Team, GlasgowKindness Homeless Street Team will be running their regular soup kitchen in Glasgow’s George Square from 12:30pm until 2:30pm on Christmas Day.

UK-wide

Large homelessness charities also offer up hot food on Christmas Day in various locations across the country and you can volunteer to help them. Crisis and The Salvation Army are just two of the charities offering vital support, shelter and food on Christmas Day. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Know of any others offering free food on Christmas Day? Let us know at editorial@bigissue.com

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