Will you help us to put on a scrumptious Christmas Day Dinner in Hackney for 70 East London care leavers aged between 18 and 25?

New stretch target

The Hackney Christmas Dinner 2014 now has a Stretch Target of £10,000

What will the #HCD14 team use the extra money for?

Firstly, thank you thank you thank you to the 100+ Backers: We have hit target and #HCD14 is GO.

Whatever we raise now goes towards 2015 and beyond.  How brilliant that would be - to know that it isn't just this year The Hackney Christmas Dinner happens, but for next year.. and the next?

What a fantastic promise to be able to make to East London care leavers.

*The email in the video is incorrect. The correct email is: hackneychristmasdinner2014@gmail.com 

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: hackneychristmasdinner2014@gmail.com.  

Thank you

(and don't forget to hashtag us... #HCD14)

The Hackney 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.

With thanks to Web Bright for our website.

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.

There's other ways you can help too: Would you like to volunteer for #HCD14 on Christmas Eve and/or Christmas Day?  Click here for information on how to apply.

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