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Christmas dinners for care leavers thanks to charity and college

Care leavers will not feel alone on Christmas Day thanks to a joint initiative from City College Peterborough and the Christmas Dinner Project - Peterborough.
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Christmas dinner

As part of the annual Christmas Dinners project founded by poet Lemn Sissay, care leavers aged between 18 and 25 will feast on their Christmas dinner at the Brook Street campus.

Care leavers will be treated to a traditional three-course Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, using food donated by Diamond Hampers. The meals will be cooked and served by local volunteers with a helping hand from the college’s catering and hospitality students.

The college will be decked out with festive decorations and a Christmas Day atmosphere including carols and music, plus a selection of board game favourites and festive film classics will also be on offer for the care leavers to enjoy.

And when the festivities are over, each of the care leavers will leave with a Boxing Day treat bag that will help spread the cheer throughout the holidays.

Proceeds from the preview night of the city’s Urban street art exhibition at Peterborough Museum and Art Gallery have gone towards the college’s event.

But with even more donations and volunteer support the project can ensure that it will be a Christmas Day care leavers will never forget.

Pat Carrington, executive principal at City College Peterborough, said: “No care leaver should be left alone during the festive season, which is why we are proud to be supporting the Christmas Dinners project. It encourages communities to come together and donate what they can whether it be food, gifts, money or their time.

“We are extremely grateful for the pledges of money and support received by volunteers and would really love to see this momentum continue.

“A few pounds towards this event or the offer of volunteering an hour or two either on the day or during Christmas Eve really does make all the difference in making sure we can give the care leavers the very best Christmas Day experience.”

The national Christmas Dinners project is the main focus of The Gold from the Stone Foundation, which was set up by Sissay in 2017.

The poet spent much of his childhood in care and recognised that young people who had been raised in foster care or care homes often lacked support once they left the care system aged 18.

The project is organised entirely by volunteers and relies on donations to ensure Christmas dinners are cooked for every local care leaver who will be alone on Christmas Day.

People wishing to pledge their support to the college’s Christmas Dinner for care leavers can visit its gofundme page or email thechristmasdinnerpboro@gmail.com.

More information about The Gold from the Stone Foundation Christmas Dinners can be found here.