Christmas dinner is coming early to around 350 families in Salford thanks to the work of the Audacious Church and ‘The Big Give’ campaign.
The Church set up the initiative to work with their local primary schools and social services to find families who are most in need of a little extra help over the festive period.
These families will receive a community-made hamper which will include Christmas treats such as mince pies, chocolate, a yule log and, most importantly, a homemade Christmas dinner.
Laura Howard, the founder of The Big Give, felt that more should be done to help the local community, especially during a challenging time for families such as Christmas.
She said: “This Christmas we want to make sure that every family in the community is looked after.”
The Big Give has been running for three years and relies on small donations from anybody in Salford, with the community’s generosity allowing them to make a difference to hundreds of families in need.
According to Laura, about one-third of the local community are classed as living in poverty and around 24% are families living with four or more children.
“A lot of people aren’t able to enjoy Christmas because of its financial implications and that’s why we want to make sure that everyone has an invitation to a community event and making sure that they are looked after over Christmas.”
Priest Stuart Keir and other members of the church will spend Sunday 22nd of December cooking and delivering fresh Christmas dinners to feed around 2000 individuals in Salford.
He said, “We’re hoping to make sure that people who are in need are not in need for a day.”
All of the families that the Church helps have been referred from different local organisations, with most of them from primary schools in their immediate community or even social services.
More than 8,500 children living in Salford receive a free school meal and, for some families, school dinners are vital to keeping their children well-fed. Having two weeks off school and thus no free meals can mean that Christmas is a very stressful time for residents in the area.
“We want to make sure that families don’t have to worry about putting food on the table for one day over Christmas,” Keir added.
Audacious aims to help the local community by taking some of Christmas’ pressures off them, inviting them to free community events where they can receive food, drinks and some holiday cheer.
Keir concluded that they couldn’t help families in need without all the support they receive from their members and the local community, and that ‘The Big Give’ is exactly what Christmas is about.