The Christmas Dinner 2015

by louwall in Manchester

We did it
On 16th December 2015 we successfully raised £38,661 with 575 supporters in 49 days

Founded by Lemn Sissay,The Christmas Dinner provides a scrumptious Lunch on Christmas Day for Care Leavers in Manchester, Leeds and Hackney

by louwall in Manchester

New stretch target

Any additional funds raised will go towards funding future Christmas Day dinners for Careleavers.


TheChristmas Dinner 2015

#mcrcd15 #leedscd15 #hackxmas15

Led by the poet Lemn Sissay. "The Christmas Dinner" is a collective of artists, adult careleavers and social care professionals working together to provide a Christmas Day Dinner to remember for care leavers between 16 and 30.

This year we are going national with Dinners planned in Manchester, Leeds and Hackney and with your help anywhere that needs one.

Our aim is no careleaver alone on christmas day.

We have some lovely rewards on offer please check them out

including for £1000 you will have your name etched onto this front page

so far we would like to thank

Becky Nicholls


Frances Lynn

Susan Moffat 

Ethiopia Alfred

Alan Wardle

What is a care leaver?

anyone who has been in the care of a local authority for at least 13 weeks, whether away from home or in the home, will be considered to have a background in care, and therefore be eligible for support.

A Care leaver is defined as a person aged 25 or under, who has been looked after away from home by a local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14; and who was looked after away from home by the local authority at school-leaving age or after that date.

Many care leavers are sat in flats, B&B’s, hostels, sofa surfing and indeed living on the streets on their own at Christmas. It can be a day to dread and then forget. 

Not now.

This is a careleaver. Lemn has achieved many great things, this year he was installed as Chancellor of the University of Manchester.  With your support we can continue to inspire many young people like us to fulfull their potential. How can we do this in one day in the year? By simply bringing happiness, joy and the knowlege the community around you does know and care what you go through and the challenges you face, our project is one way to do this.

Since our first successful fundraiser in 2013, where we asked for £5000 and then ended up with £10,000 we were able provide a scrumptious christmas day meal, a magical day, full of happy memories, a day to remember in Manchester and London.

We have now produced a how to guide for info on how to organize a Christmas Day for Careleavers, which we hope will inspire you to do what we have done.

Find Lemn's How to guide by visiting his blog here

To see previous Christmas dinners and the impact on the guests please visit

As an added bonus this year you are able to gift aid it when you pledge. This money will go to Pure Insight, a charity in Stockport that provides year round support for young care leavers. So not only will you be investing in the happiness of young people on Christmas Day, if you tick the gift aid box you will be supporting young care leavers through out the year. See

It's life changing, life enhancing and most of all fun by the ton.

This year we need to raise £30000 to provide the same level of magic for Care leavers at a secret location in Manchester, Leeds and Hackney and to support the possibility of other events around the UK.How can we make this happen? With your help! no matter whether you pledge money or support or even just share the link to this page, this will all help, let's do this!

Our aim is to source food, venue, Christmas presents, and volunteers and Hosts and most of all the most memorable day ever.Are you are part of a company who prefer to provide decorations or amazing gifts for our guests?Maybe you would like to volunteer? If so please get in touch as soon as possible.Our target for the day is £30000

If everyone chips in and backs this project you will truly have made a real and long lasting difference in to the lives of care leavers and to your community.



To enquire about how to invite a guest, volunteer, donate gifts  or media enquiries please contact

for Manchester email [email protected]  For Manchester Christmas Dinner

For Hackney visit For the Hackney Christmas Dinner

 email [email protected] for the Leeds Christmas Dinner

When pledging please remember to gift aid your pledge all gift aid money will go to Pure Insight. A charity that works year round to support young careleavers

Thank you !

People coordinating this year are

Lemn Sissay Poet

Rod Kippen Children's Rights Campaigner

Ian Dickson social worker care leaver

Sarah Sturmey Pure Insight

Simon Ruding Director TIPP

Tonia Murphy

Julie Staton

Amanda Collins

Athena Caramitsos

Melissa Webster Station Manager Key 103

Louise Wallwein Poet Playwright

joanne Oakes Health Worker

Kate O'Sullivan Health Worker

Emma Thackray charity Manager

Sam Calland student social worker

Alison Allcott University of Manchester

Sarah Helsby University of Manchester

Deej Lashley-Johnson BME officer University of Manchester

Jennifer Houghton Social Work Manager

Laura Kelly Associate Lecturer

Emma Lewis Widening Participation Officer University of Manchester

The London Team

Tonia Murphy, (producer / referrals) Service Manager SHP

Rosie Canning, (volunteers) PhD Doctoral Researcher, University of Southampton

Giovanna Forte, (fundraising and gifts) Founding Director & CEO, Forte Medical Ltd

Florence Dolle, (Chef) director, event organiser and chef at FD Events London,

Harriet Clompus, (Referrals) Paediatric Doctor

Lisa Murphy (Referrals) Teacher Hackney Learning Trust

Sophie Howarth (Gifts) Founder, Department Store for the Mind

Jessie Krish (Gifts) Department store for the mind

Allesandra Mcallister (Decorations / venue) Literacy Support Assistant at the Boxing Academy

Josh Babarinde (Volunteers) Founder, Cracked It

Katie Slee (Venue co-ordinator) Service Designer, Settle

Rich Graham (Volunteers) CEO Settle

Alison Kakande (Referrals) Virtual School














This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£10 or more

£10 Reward

That warm tingly feeling you get when you know you've done right by someone. That you've made a big difference to the lives of young care leavers. And a THANKYOU from all of us hosts and guests.

£25 or more

£25 Reward

A thank you tweet from the man himself, Lemn Sissay. His morning tweets are legendary and reach 10,000 people in the twitterverse. Make sure you send us your Twitter handle

£50 or more

£50 Reward

Pledge £50 or more and you will be sent a special message from all of us at the Christmas dinner in the form if a specially commissioned animated Xmas card.

£100 or more

£100 Reward

Pledge £100 or more and you will revive a thank you, straight from the heart Christmas Day video message from Lemn Sissay.

£1,000 or more

£1,000 Reward

Pledge £1000 or more and you will receive all the above and a special mention on the front page of our crowdfunding site.

£5,000 or more

2 of 3 claimed

£5,000 Reward

A morning coffee in Leeds, Manchester or London with Lemn Sissay Poet, MBE and Chancellor of The University of Manchester. A one to one. Possibly the most inspiring coffee hang out of your life.

£5,000 or more

0 of 5 claimed

£5,000 Reward

A special pledge is welcomed from Companies, Universities and Organisations. Lemn Sissay Poet, MBE and Chancellor of University of Manchester will visit your company anywhere in the UK and deliver an inventive, funny and moving motivational speech to you and your work force. £5000 will pay for one entire christmas dinner for 50 care leavers, thats a massive impact your company can make.

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