Christmas Plans for the Homeless

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

Today, millions of people across the UK will sit down for a Christmas dinner with their family and friends. On Christmas day, people traditionally eat turkey, roast potatoes, sprouts, and pigs in blankets. For dessert, Christmas pudding and Christmas fruit cake are often on the menu. Many of us will receive and give presents to friends and family.


What do the homeless eat on Christmas Day?


On Christmas Day, the homeless can choose to eat a free Christmas dinner supplied by thousands of UK organisations. In Birmingham, Mencap supply a free Christmas dinner at Weoley Castle. The meal comes complete with pigs in blankets and gravy. Mencap offers an option for people to collect a boxed meal from them. Experience a Caribbean Christmas at Tasti Jerk Jamaican Takeaway. Anyone struggling with money can have a free Christmas meal from Tasti Jerk Jamaican Takeaway in Erdington, Birmingham. You can choose from fried chicken, jerk chicken and curried chicken.


Image by vivienviv0 from Pixabay


Can you find free Christmas Dinners in Wales?


Yes, you can find free Christmas dinners in Wales. Some people don’t have family and friends they can spend Christmas with. Their family and friends could be isolating because of Covid-19, leaving their loved ones with no one to spend Christmas with. The craft brewer Tiny Rebel is throwing a Christmas dinner party at Tiny Rebel bar on Newport High Street. Attendees can enjoy a cup of tea and a mince pie before collecting a free takeaway Christmas dinner.


Who delivers free Christmas dinners in Scotland?


Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts delivers free Christmas dinners throughout Edinburgh, Scotland. Poverty is rife in the city. The Edinburgh Poverty Commission says 27% of people are living in poverty in some areas of Edinburgh. Delivery of the Christmas dinners began on Christmas Eve and many more will arrive today, on Christmas Day. The organisation provides 5,000 free meals each week to vulnerable residents. They anticipate that the demand for their free meals will soar during 2022 because of the cost-of-living crisis. The operations manager of Empty Kitchens, Full Hearts said: “some of the population may be forced to choose between heating their homes or providing meals for their families.”


Has the Covid-19 pandemic changed plans?


The Covid-19 pandemic has forced organisations to change their plans this year. Bengal Brasserie in South Belfast, Northern Ireland has opened its doors to those in need on Christmas Day in the past. The owner of Bengal Brasserie said that rising Covid-19 numbers forced him to reconsider opening his restaurant. Instead, the owner decided to donate dinners from his Bangladeshi menu to the Simon Community NI. Homeless people in Belfast can eat these free meals at the Simon Community NI located on Arthur Street.


Do homeless people receive presents?


Homeless people can receive presents this year from hundreds of organisations. Bristol City football club organised a drop-in centre at their Bristol store at Ashton Gate. They asked supporters to donate Supermarket gift cards, hand warmers, clean clothes and non-perishable foods at the store. People who donate received a 10% discount to use in the store as a thank-you. Bristol City football club redistributed these items to local charities.



Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay


Can homeless people stay in hotels this Christmas?


The charity Crisis provides hotel accommodation for the homeless at Christmas time. Homeless people can stay in hotels with bathroom facilities from 23rd December to the 5th of January. Crisis provided hotel accommodation during Christmas 2020. Homeless people who lived in hotel rooms last year described how this helped their self-esteem and health. Living in a hotel gave them dignity at a time of year when many homeless people feel at their lowest. Crisis day centres provide companionship, hot meals and advice for the homeless during the Christmas period.


What are nap pads?


The Salvation Army is developing a new initiative this Christmas. Nap pads will provide hot food, blankets and hygiene kits. These nap pads contain technology that monitors the health of a person sleeping inside. Piloted in York, the Salvation Army hope to build these nap pads all over the UK. These nap pads contain small rooms containing a single bed, toilet and sink. The nap pads will stop people from dying on the cold streets. The pods monitor the health of the person sleeping inside by scanning their heartbeat and breathing as they sleep. If their breath or heart becomes irregular or stops for more than thirty seconds, then an alarm sounds. Once the alarm sounds, the door is unlocked, and an alert is sent to a call centre. The call centre advisor will make a call to the emergency services.


How will the Government’s Plan B affect Big Issue Sellers?


Big Issue sellers have had a challenging time during the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, they will struggle to sell copies of The Big Issue magazine in the deserted streets of London and other cities. Christmas is traditionally a busy time for Big Issue sellers. People buy more Big Issue magazines at this time of year. The Government’s Plan B means that they need extra help as more people isolate and stay at home. Subscribe to The Big Issue instead to support the homeless.


To help those in need, you can make donations to the Clothing Collective here


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