Volunteers in Cardiff to host special Christmas Dinners for 18-25 year olds that have recently left the care system


Lemm Sissay with John Lewis Partnership Tote Bags


A series of Christmas Dinners has been organised up and down the country for 18-25 year olds that have recently left the care system and have nowhere else to go on Christmas Day.

Christmas is a particularly hard time for many of them who have nowhere to go. This is why Lemn Sissay, poet and presenter created The Christmas Dinner initiative, which is now in its 9th year and is trying to inspire more volunteers and local community support.

Each Dinner will have 50 attendees from local communities and is organised by a steering group of people who come together to make the Christmas Day magic happen.

Since 2013, these amazing steering groups have been responsible for hosting an extraordinary 115 Dinners across the country!

The John Lewis Partnership will once again be providing parcels containing essential provisions to attendees to take home with them. Specifically, each guest will receive two bags of shopping. This will ensure they have store cupboard essentials, such as tea bags, pasta sauce, cordial, long life milk along with some Christmas treats.

In addition to the almost £1m pounds raised this Christmas for the care community by the John Lewis Partnership via its Building Happier Futures initiative, the Partnership has invested a further £70,000 to donate the parcels to attendees at the Christmas Dinners. 

Lindsey Crompton,  Social Impact Lead at the John Lewis Partnership said: “The Gold from the Stone Foundation and the Christmas Dinner Project volunteers do amazing work to bring joy and community to young people who’ve been in care at Christmas. We’re so pleased that Waitrose can help with food and treats to see care leavers through from Christmas into the New Year. We’re proud to play a small part in this brilliant initiative to give a merry Christmas to care leavers across the country.”
Lemn Sissay (OBE) who set up the dinners, said: “The Christmas Dinner in Cardiff is community at its best, giving care leavers hope on Christmas Day. The team have met throughout winter to pool their skills and  make this happen. John Lewis and Waitrose have joined all the dinners across the country. The local residents of Cardiff have been incredible. I mean it. They have made magic happen. Merry Christmas and thanks.”
Waitrose items being gifted to attendees by the John Lewis Partnership:
Essential Original Blend 80 Tea Bags 250g
Essential Rich Roast Coffee 100g
Silver Spoon Granulated Sugar 500g
Essential Penne 500g
Waitrose Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce 350g
Essential Sweetcorn 260g
Essential Squeezy Honey 454g
Essential Long Grain Rice 500g
Essential Ready Salted Crisps- 6x25g
Essential Baked Beans 400g
John West No Drain Tuna Steak in Spring Water 3x60g
Heinz Tomato Ketchup 460g
Batchelors Chicken Super Noodles
Cadbury Hot Chocolate 250g
Heinz Classic Cream of Tomato Soup 400g
Robinsons No Added Sugar Orange 1litre
Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar 180g
Maoam Stripes Chewy Sweets 140g
Essential Milk Chocolate Malted Milk Biscuits 250g
Kellogg’s Corn Flakes 500g
Waitrose Essential Semi Skimmed Long Life Milk 1litre
Cadbury Festive Friends 150g
Waitrose Christmas All Butter Mince Pies 6s
Building Happier Futures Tote Bag