Searching for hosts and helpers? Is it you?

We’re trying to find local volunteers for Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and on December 27th, to help and host a scrumptious meal and a special and fun-filled Christmas Day for young adult care leavers between the ages of 18 and 25 who otherwise would be alone on Christmas Day.

We have 16 amazing people signed up so far but need 35 across the three days!  The event itself will be in a fab venue near Bushy Park.

You don’t need to attend on Christmas Day as we need people to help us on all three days.

Helpers – getting it ready for our guests and tidying up

Helpers – the team that gets everything set up so that our guests and hosts have a fabulous day, and they are needed on Christmas Eve and 27 December.

On Christmas Eve, helpers are needed (between 10 and 4) to wrap presents, decorate the venue, prepare vegetables, set tables, transport items to and from the event, indeed anything that will ensure everything is ready when our guests arrive.

27 December is clean up day! There will be some cleaning and packing away, getting the venue back to normal.

Helpers can bring their own children along.

If you have time and would like to help make the day fabulous, then please can you email,telling us when you are available and what you would like to do. We’ll send you a short form to complete which should be returned ASAP but by 24 November to

We will respond ASAP but will email everyone two weeks before to confirm the when and where you can help.

Hosts – the team that makes the day happen. 

If you would like to host on Christmas Day (minimum age is 25) and play a hugely important role in ensuring the day goes smoothly, you will need to meet and greet our guests, give out presents, lead games and activities and many more little jobs along the way.  Guests will start to arrive from 12.15 and the day will run until 8pm.

Hosts will be prepared to muck in and get their hands dirty; you should be fun loving, generous and warm of spirit. You will be good at listening, but can also sing and dance and make a lot of noise.  We need people with skills that they can offer – from face painting to beauty treatments, from photography to karaoke. We particularly need a Maître d’!

Above all, hosts need to be willing to work hard and turn their hand to anything – just like a host at any decent party!

It would be great if you could stay all day but we can also look at half days. Alternatively you may take on a particular role and will only be needed for that role’s duration.

Hosts are not permitted to bring their own children on the Day.

Where is the Christmas Dinner being held? We can’t tell you that yet but it’s close to Bushy Park, near Hampton Court train station, with onsite parking.

Does ‘host’ describe you? Then email, and include details of two referees who can vouch for your good character. You will have to meet with the organisers on either 12 or 17 November and attend a 4-hour training session on 14 December that will be held locally.

No time over this busy Christmas period but want to help? Don’t worry! You can also support the event by making a donation on our Justgiving page by clicking here. 

Some of our guests will never had had presents at Christmas before so we are also appealing to individuals like you and local business to provide some of these presents, especially ones that have that wow effect. If you’d like to buy a gift for one of our guests click here . There are gifts for every budget.

Additional information

Poet and University of Manchester Chancellor, Lemn Sissay (above) founded The Christmas Dinner in Manchester in 2013. Since 2013 the idea has spread around the country, and in 2016 Dinners were hosted in Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Oxford and London. Each Dinner has a local flavour, organised by teams of volunteers drawn from the arts, social care, HE and local business. They come together to provide a special and fun-filled Christmas day for young adult care leavers aged between the ages of 16 and 25 who otherwise would be alone on Christmas Day.

For further details see 

Lemn Sissay says; ‘Many care leavers are sat in flats, B&B’s and hostels, away from family, or sofa surfing and some are indeed living on the streets on their own at Christmas. Christmas is a reminder of everything they never had… I know because I’ve shared their experiences.

“But since 2013, thanks to the work, effort and donations of many generous people we have hosted a scrumptious Christmas meal and created magical days to remember, at secret locations in Manchester, Leeds and Hackney. And in 2016 we are adding Liverpool and Oxford to the list! The Christmas Dinner is a life-changing and life-saving experience.”

For more information, email, visit our Facebook page (The Christmas Dinner, Richmond Upon Thames)

Or look at Lemn’s blog: – sthash.KtdcXJrg.dpbs