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Crisis calls on chefs for Christmas meal campaign

09 October 2014 by
Crisis calls on chefs for Christmas meal campaign

National homelessness charity Crisis is appealing for trained chefs and catering staff to lend their skills to its campaign to provide meals for homeless people this Christmas.

Diners will also receive advice on healthcare, housing, work and benefits, as well as the chance to spend time in the warmth.

Last year, the project's 300-person catering team served more than 30,500 meals, including 133 turkeys, 8,040 mince pies, and more than 20,000 eggs. Overall, there were 8,000 volunteers nationwide, feeding more than 4,100 people.

Claire Fraser, a head chef volunteer for the past four years, commented on the scheme's benefits - both for those it helps, and for herself as a chef.

She said: "Preparing the food at Crisis at Christmas 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, 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. It helps them to engage with the support services and start the journey away from homelessness."

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said: "Being homeless can be a cold, miserable experience and never more so than at Christmas when most of us are sharing in the warmth of family and friends. By helping make Christmas happen for homeless people, volunteers can not only bring some much-needed cheer to our guests but also set them up with the chance to have a more positive year ahead."

Citing government figures, Crisis estimated that homelessness had risen by 37% in England since 2010 and by 77% in London - which amounted to 6,508 people sleeping rough across the capital.

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