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The Hackney Christmas Dinner was founded by poet Lemn Sissay MBE, and inspired by the Tope Project. Together we are a team of professionals who between us have up to a hundred years experience of working with young people. Our aim is to provide a Christmas Day Dinner in Hackney for 70 care leavers between the ages 18-25 years old on Christmas Day.
Many care leavers are sat in flats, B&B’s, hostels, or are sofa surfing, away from family and living on the streets on their own at Christmas. Christmas can be a reminder of everything that they never had. It's often a dreaded day. We want to change that. We need your help.
The Hackney Christmas Dinner team are motivated by the need to bring about change in how we as a community can assist young care leavers. Christmas is a time for family, and in the absence of family we want to create a special day to remember. It is a time of warmth and happiness. A time to have a good laugh. So, we will bring 70 care leavers together for a delicious Christmas meal on Christmas Day with your help this Christmas.
Please help us to reach our target to make this special day happen. Scroll down on the right hand side to pledge. There's tickets for Spurs, theatre tickets, exclusive tasting and cookery for foodies, V&A blockbuster tickets, a twitter masterclass, garden design consultancy, arts membership, caberet and much more. You can also pledge so that a care leaver can shadow the Artistic Director of on the UK's top children's theatres!
What do we need the money for? It's to hire a place, pay for transport (the care leavers will come in taxis and some come from way out of town), pay for food, pay for decorations and the unforseen (hire of catering equipment ,etc), chef, storage for presents, any costs for setting up before (like transport or courier) and cleaning up after, and food. No money goes to organisers or volunteers. What we can get given to us for free we will also try and secure. What isn't spent this year rolls over to the next.
We are also seeking volunteers to help with preparation Christmas Eve and to help on Christmas Day.
For all enquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(and don't forget to hashtag us... #HCD14)
TheHackney Christmas Dinner 2014 team are:
Jane Ashley - Patron
Bobbi Byrne - Professional Actress / Forward Foundation Partnerships Manager
Rosie Canning - Social Media Coordinator, Every Child Leaving Care Matters
Kiran Chahal - People's Kitchen
Harriet Clompus - Pediatric Doctor
Leon Clowes - Fundraiser and Founder of Leon Clowes Associates
Victoria Hall - The Who Cares Trust
Sarah Haynes - Policy and Research Coordinator
Bhavesh Hindocha - Community Worker & Filmmaker
Axa Hynes - Learning Programme Assistant, NT Learning
Robert Lowry - Online / Website Sales Consultant
Rachel McCormack - Food Writer and Broadcaster
Lisa Murphy - Co-ordinator Special Educational Needs
Tonia Murphy - Services Manager SHP (Single Homeless Project)
Lemn Sissay MBE - Writer
Sabrina Smith-Noble - Arts Projects Manager
Louisa Wells - Head of Video Production
With thanks to for accepting grants on our behalf.
UPDATE 28/11/14: We want to express special thanks to the family of John Thaw. Through their Foundation, they have made a financial commitment which means that The Hackney Christmas Dinner will not only take place in 2014, but in 2015 too. Thank you so much for backing us.