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Crisis appeals for chefs to support Christmas meal campaign

07 October 2015 by
Crisis appeals for chefs to support Christmas meal campaign

National homelessness charity Crisis is appealing for trained chefs and catering staff to help provide meals for homeless people this Christmas.

Crisis at Christmas 2015 will run from 23 to 30 December in centres across London, Birmingham, Newcastle, Coventry and Edinburgh.

The charity is looking for catering and chef volunteers to help serve three hot meals a day, as well as the main Christmas dinner, to homeless people who visit the centres.

Advice on healthcare, housing, work and benefits will also be offered.

Last year the volunteer catering team served more than 31,000 meals. It welcomed 4,562 guests across London, Edinburgh and Newcastle and was supported by almost 9,000 volunteers.

Claire Fraser, who has volunteered as a head chef for the last four years, said: "Preparing the food at Crisis at Christmas allows me to be part of truly essential service and is the most rewarding part of my year. It can be a challenge getting everything prepared and you have to be creative with the ingredients on hand if you're going to provide three hot and varied meals every day, but that is part of the fun.

"Volunteering with Crisis becomes even more rewarding when you see what a positive impact it has on the guests' self-esteem. The hot meals help to build their strength over the week, which in turn helps them to engage with the support services and start the journey away from homelessness."

In the capital 7,581 people slept on the streets during 2014/15 - a 16% increase on the previous year.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: "Christmas can be a lonely, isolating time for those without a home to call their own. This year has seen an alarming rise in the number of rough sleepers in England, all of whom deserve the shelter, companionship and support many of us take for granted at Christmas.

"That's why the compassion and dedication of Crisis at Christmas volunteers is needed more than ever."

Crisis calls on chefs for Christmas meal campaign >>

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