Christmas Dinner Project spreads festive cheer to care leavers

21 December 2023

Local community and Thurrock Council volunteers are hosting a special Christmas Dinner for care leavers across Thurrock as part of the annual Christmas Dinner Project campaign.

The Christmas Dinner Project brings together local volunteers to help ensure that no young adult care leaver is left alone on Christmas Day.

This year’s campaign has received generous donations and support from individuals and organisations including Plenty of Thyme and Dave Double, Beauty Banks, Stuarts of Rayleigh Jewellers, The Smurfit Kappa Group, Waitrose Upminster and Siobhan Maclean. Thurrock Council staff, including Mary Carter and the Leaving and After Care team, have also donated their time and resources to the project.

Cllr Barry Johnson, Cabinet Member for Children's Services and Housing said: "I am heartened by the generosity of local businesses, individuals and volunteers who have come together to donate their time and resources to ensure that Thurrock care leavers get to celebrate Christmas.

"Christmas can be a challenging time of year, and not being around loved ones can feel very isolating. This year we have had an outpouring of support which will make the world of difference for Thurrock care leavers and ensure that they have a safe and welcoming place to celebrate the festivities.

"I would also like to thank Gable Hall School for providing the venue for this year's event. Members of their staff and teachers will also be giving their time to offer support on the day. The hard work of all involved is greatly appreciated, and we wish all those taking part in this year's Christmas Dinner Project event a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."