Tue, 18 Dec 2018
Young people who spent their childhood in care are being treated to a special Christmas celebration in Birmingham thanks to a group of volunteers and support of city businesses, including No5 Barristers’ Chambers.
Around 25 people, aged from 18 to 25, will join a Christmas dinner with a difference thanks to the Brum Christmas Dinner Project, which is spearheaded annually by the Lemn Sissay Projects.
A steering group of volunteers, including solicitors from Anthony Collins Solicitors, representatives from Warwick University, University of Law students, former social workers, a part-time judge and a gardener, have all volunteered their time to get the project under way in Birmingham.
Supporters have donated gifts to be wrapped and handed out during the event, including No5 Barristers’ Chambers, which made a cash donation together with providing luxury hampers.
Tony McDaid. No5 Chief Executive and Director of Clerking, said: “We are delighted to be able to support such a worthwhile project that makes such a difference to people, especially as it fulfils the charity ethos of No5.”
Around 20 volunteers will prepare for the celebration on Christmas Eve, while seven people will give their time on Christmas Day to cook and host the dinner. Taxis have been organised to pick up each care leaver and take them to the surprise dinner destination.
Project spokesperson Lucia Harrington said: “The event is an opportunity to remind care leavers that even though they have left the care system, the community does realise that they face challenges and they are not on their own and they can feel part of a family in a communal environment.
“It also recognises that the Christmas period can be challenging for some people, and it can be lonely and difficult, and we want to reach out to everyone and show them our support.”
Organisers are also promoting the event through social media, on twitter @BrumXmasDinner and on Instagram @brumxmasdinner and have launched a crowdfunding page https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/brumxmasdinner2018 in a bid to raise £3,500 to help fund the day.
In photo (L-R): Volunteers Emma Keightley, Puja Desai, Sarah Owen, and Alex Laud are busy getting the hampers ready for the Brum Christmas Dinner Project