Good Causes

Alan’s hosting a Big Lunch at Christmas and you can too!

When 250 homeless people gather at St Philip’s Cathedral in Birmingham to enjoy a Christmas meal with all the trimmings, they won’t just experience hearty food. Alan Strang (pictured above-right), a trustee of Let’s Feed Brum, the project organising the festive get-together, says it’s a chance to feel the sense of togetherness and community many of us take for granted at this time of the year.

Alan (pictured) said, “Not all of the people coming to the lunch are living on street corners – some of them are in hostels, shelters and shared accommodation. But many have mental health issues and some have drink and drug addiction issues. Combating loneliness and treating homeless people with a bit of dignity and a bit of care is the most important part of what we are able to do.

“At Christmas time it’s great to be doing something for this community that’s about getting together and enjoying each other’s company; something that’s simply nice rather than a necessity such as finding them accommodation.”

Let’s Feed Brum is holding its lunch on Saturday 17th December as part of The Big Lunch at Christmas initiative. It’s a festive extension of The Big Lunch, the annual community event organised by The Eden Project and supported by funding made possible by National Lottery players.

The Big Lunch at Christmas is about sharing food and friendship with people in your community. It’s a busy time of year, but for some it can feel quite lonely. So, taking the time to say hello to a neighbour with a mince pie in hand, or over a shared meal is a great way to keep connected and celebrate communities at Christmas.

Not content with helping organise one Big Lunch at Christmas, Alan and his wife Katherine, are also planning an event for refugees. Held on 19th December in Birmingham’s Martineau Gardens, it will see about 60 people enjoying a meal of middle eastern chicken and rice served from giant pans set around a bonfire.

Alan said, “We’re trying to get all faiths and nationalities together to celebrate the spirit of Christmas if not the religious part. We’re hoping they’ll feel they’re included.”

The pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis mean more people than ever are facing a tough Christmas this year. Alan said, “Things have been building up. During the Covid years homeless people had less services available to them. Now, the economic problems the country is experiencing mean there are more and more vulnerable people who need support and some kind of community.”

You can find information and tips on how to organise your own Big Lunch at Christmas.

9th December 2022

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