I used to practice holding my breath so that when the day came I could hold it for the full 24 hours. Then the day came: Christmas Day.
Fortunately I love Christmas now. For the past three years I’ve helped initiate and organize The Christmas Dinners for Care Leavers. This year it’s in Leeds, Manchester and Hackney. Each Christmas Dinner team gives their time and skills in eight meetings from October to December
We have two aims In the three months leading up to the day: To provide a scrumptious Christmas Dinner with top grade food, a professional chef in a magical venue, with free transport, surprisingly good presents, and entertainment throughout the day. Aside from this we raise £5,000 contingency for each Christmas Dinner.
The second aim is to allow our community to do something positive for the care leaver rather than read about the suicides.
We are raising money this year. We have four days left of our fundraising campaign. So far it has gone brilliantly. Presently we are at the astounding figure of £22,595 and we need to reach £30,000 by 9:45am 16th December 2015. This will be for Christmas Dinners over the next couple of years.
Each steering group inspires me. In Leeds Liz Fossu (a single working mum of three children) came to the first meeting with a broken leg in a taxi. Simon Ruding of TIPP has a relentless calmness and steers the ship in Manchester with grace. And in London Sophie Howarth raised tons while launching her own new company Department Store of The Mind . These are a representative selection of the incredible people on the steering group. Some have become friends for life. As for me? I’ve got my Christmases back. You can click on the picture below for the crowdfunder page if you like.
THE HOW TO GUIDE will tell you everything about The Christmas Dinner.
[pullquote]We offer the simplest and most complex gift of all – A memory. [/pullquote]