Why I initiated Richmond’s Christmas Day Dinner project – Sian Thomas

“I am a nurse who has seen over the years many people who have left care and spend Christmas alone, not because they want to but they have little choice. This has sat so, so unhappily with me and I always knew that the community would want to help if they just knew this was someone’s experience…

I came across Lemn Sissay around a year ago via his poetry, then I saw him on stage in the Report where his health report from the time he was in care was read out live on stage. I felt absolutely compelled to do something; I picked up his Brand New Guide to The Christmas Day Project about 10 times and kept putting it down as it felt just such a huge thing to organise; I kept wanting to be invited onto the project rather than the person initiating.

Join Sian and sign up to help us by clicking here

Anyway, on the 20 September I decided I would do it. I have met so many new and committed people who want to create a day that is warm, fun, caring and comfortable. There is no pressure on guests to be anything other than what they are on the day; happy, sad, melancholy as we understand that Christmas can evoke emotional feelings in everyone.

A care leaver has contacted me saying: “Christmas was a terrible time for me when I was young, so just having people around will be a bonus”…. this is not a day of pity but a day to come together as one and enjoy our Christmas Day.”

Everything happens because of our wonderful volunteers. We would love you to get involved with the Richmond Christmas Day Dinner in so many ways:

Would you like to buy one of our wonderful guests a Christmas gift? Well you can if you click here and select from our wishlist.

Could you make a donation to the event or perhaps volunteer to join one of the committees we are setting up? If you can, please email christmasdayrichmond@gmail.com and get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.

Our fundraising has started and you can donate to help us make Christmas 2021 unforgettable for our guests by clicking here.

Sign up to our Easy Fundraising programme to donate while on-line shopping

Follow us on social media and spread the word. You’ll find the latest updates and how to help on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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