Who we are
We are a growing team of volunteers from across the UK with one aim, to provide a spectacular Christmas Day for young care leavers. Young people, aged 18-25 who have recently left the care system who would otherwise be alone.
In 2013 the first Christmas dinner was held in Manchester. In 2014 Manchester and Hackney. In 2015 Manchester, Hackney and Leeds.
This year there are an incredible seventeen dinners taking place across the UK. This means that up to 800 care leavers will be having an amazing Christmas Day that they will remember forever.
The dinners are being held in:
- - Manchester
- - Leeds
- - Hackney
- - Richmond
- - Wigan
- - Sheffield
- - Wirral
- - Barnsley
- - Scotland
- - Canterbury
- - Stockport
- - The Tope Project
- - Birmingham
- - Ellesmere Port
- - Oxford
- - Hull
- - Nottingham
What we are trying to do
In 2018 volunteer teams began to assemble in September to start their planning and they're working hard to find venues, gifts and scrumptious food to make an unforgettable Christmas Day that will create great memories for our guests.
We are creating magic. Lighting up the country like… a Christmas tree!
In 2018 we need to raise £30,000.
All the teams are using our ‘How To Guide’ which was created by volunteers from different Christmas Dinners. It tells you everything you need to know about what we do and how we do it.
Why is this so important?
Many care leavers spend Christmas on their own in flats, B&B’s, hostels, sofa surfing or even living on the streets. It can be a day to dread and then try to forget.
We want to change this and make fantastic Christmas memories to cherish forever.
Here's what some of our guests last year said;
"I was so glad I was put forward for this because, to be fair, I'd probably be sitting on my couch, crying at home."
"I've not celebrated Christmas since 2013. This has made it possible for me to like Christmas again."
"There's no worry about being judged because of our circumstances because other people have been through the same things we've been through."
"I hope it goes on forever."
Please support us in any way that you can. Get involved, donate, join our crowd, share our message using our hashtag #TCD18 , tweet our link, share the link on Facebook.
The further we spread our message the more successful we’ll be, this year and in years to come.
Thank you for your generosity and solidarity with young care leavers. Your support will go a long way towards ending loneliness and isolation, raising their confidence and showing them that they are valued and noticed by the community.
- Full details of all of the Christmas Dinners, their contact details and the ‘How To Guide’ can be found at thechristmasdinners.org.uk
- The Lemn Sissay Foundation was set up by poet and writer Lemn Sissay MBE. Lemn is the author of a series of books of poetry alongside articles, records, broadcasts, public art, commissions, and plays.
- Alongside his work, Lemn, a care leaver himself, has campaigned tirelessly on behalf of young people in care and care leavers.
- In 2017 he established the Lemn Sissay Foundation, dedicated to offering support to individuals and agencies working to address the disadvantages faced by those in care and young adult care leavers. The main focus of the Foundation is the Christmas Dinners.