Charity bosses take to streets to spread festive cheer to homeless community
Published by Sarah Thomas for Reach the People Charity in Housing and also in Care and Support, Communities
Trident Reach the People’s Charity Lead Dominic Bradley (left) serves food to Christopher Bates.
Bosses at a Midlands-based charity played Father Christmas to homeless people in Birmingham when they took to the streets to serve up a festive lunch.
Executives and senior managers at Trident Reach the People Charity prepared and cooked Christmas dinners, then took them out to members of the homeless community in the city.
Staff went to known areas where there are usually rough sleepers to hand out the hot, nutritious meals on Thursday 20th December. Later in the day, they served up evening Christmas meals to more than 100 people at the charity’s Washington Court homeless service.
The team of top executives and senior managers spent hours cooking up the three-course feast, including Caribbean and halal variations, then served up the meals during two sittings for some of the city’s homeless people, including customers from Washington Court and other Trident Reach homeless projects.
Washington Court, in Granville Street, provides support and short-term accommodation to homeless people. It has space for 98 customers at one time and helps around 1,200 people a year.
Anthony McCool, Charity Lead at Trident Reach, said: “This Christmas meal with the homeless has become an important tradition for our charity, where we as the senior management team serve those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
“It is hard work but fun and is always appreciated by those who enjoy the festive meal. This year was bigger than ever, as we took meals out to other people in the community including rough sleepers in Birmingham.”
Recent figures show that homelessness is rising nationally, with high levels in Birmingham.
Across England, 48,510 households were accepted as homeless by their local authorities in 2011, with 12,830 of those in the last three months of the year – up 18% on the same period in 2010.
Birmingham was recorded as having the highest number of homeless people – 925 households.
It is feared that figures will rise further when the full impact is felt of people’s benefit changes due to the government’s national welfare reforms.
Trident Reach the People Charity provides housing and support for vulnerable people – including people fleeing domestic violence, the elderly and people with learning disabilities – helping them to live independently and reach their potential through the charity’s residential services and work within the community