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Homeless people in Havering enjoy three-course Christmas meals

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 12:09 20 December 2018

The Salvation Army volunteers event. Photo: Wates Residential

The Salvation Army volunteers event. Photo: Wates Residential

Archant

Homeless people in the borough enjoyed a three-course Christmas dinner thanks to volunteers from Havering’s biggest regeneration project and The Salvation Army.

Leon Seraphin, chief trainer at Beyond Food Community Interest Company. Photo: Wates ResidentialLeon Seraphin, chief trainer at Beyond Food Community Interest Company. Photo: Wates Residential

Wates Residential and Havering Council organised meals to support 40 of the borough’s most vulnerable residents in the run-up to Christmas.

Christmas gift bags containing essential items including gloves, underwear and toiletries were also given to the attendees.

“We were provided with the wonderful opportunity to celebrate Christmas with some of the neediest in the borough and the volunteers that help to support them throughout the year,” said Dave Chuck, community manager at The Salvation Army.

“Both groups appreciated and celebrated the kind donations and support provided by Wates Residential and its partners. It also took a great weight off my mind in organising these events.”

Rusul Hussain, development manager and Ben Cox, commerical director for Wates Residential. Photo: Wates ResidentialRusul Hussain, development manager and Ben Cox, commerical director for Wates Residential. Photo: Wates Residential

Another event saw 40 volunteers from The Salvation Army enjoy a festive lunch on Tuesday, December 18.

The lunch was attended by councillor Joshua Chapman, cabinet member for housing, and Gerri Scott, director of housing Services at Havering Council, along with 12 volunteers.

Cllr Chapman said: “This is another great example of how the benefits of regeneration go far beyond bricks and mortar.

“The Council is working hard with our partners to provide essential help and support to rough sleepers. This means that no one will need to spend Christmas on the streets in Havering.”

Volunteers cooked and served a Christmas dinner for the homeless. Photo: Wates ResidentialVolunteers cooked and served a Christmas dinner for the homeless. Photo: Wates Residential

Simon Boyle from Beyond Food CIC, a social enterprise that delivers professional food training programmes for adults at risk of homelessness, provided turkeys – sponsored by British Premium Meats – and pigs in blankets for both events, while his team of chefs cooked up the festive feasts.

Tins of chocolate were also donated by GL Hearn as a thank you for the Salvation Army volunteers. The total value of the food and gloves donated was more than £660.

Kate Ives, development director for Wates Residential, said: “We are very pleased that we could work together with our partners to organise these festive events and provide a hot Christmas meal for some of the most vulnerable people in Havering. Crucially, we hope that the supply of gloves, toiletries and other items will help make a difference this winter.”

For more information about support for the homeless visit Havering Council’s guide for rough sleepers.

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