The Christmas spirit is shining brightly at Meanwood’s Sundwich Deli where owner Rebecca Walls will hosting dinner for the homeless on Christmas Day.
When most people across the city will be opening their presents with family and friends on Christmas morning, Rebecca and her mum Angie Walls will be slaving away over a hot stove, preparing a Christmas feast for those less fortunate.
Organised with help from Homeless Street Angels - a charity set up earlier this year by twins Becky and Shelley Joyce, 44 - the big-hearted duo will serve dinner to at least 30 homeless men and women at lunchtime on Christmas Day itself.
Rebecca said: “Sundwich Deli started helping the homeless about two months ago, sending food out via Homeless Street Angels, as we run a Sunday dinner delivery service every Sunday.
“Since then me and my mother decided to open on Christmas Day for the homeless and feed 30 mouths and seat as many as possible in the shop. Since then I put a bit online on Facebook which led to people volunteering to helping and give donations.
“We are really overwhelmed by all the lovely comments and kind donations and are so glad we can help those in need this Christmas.
“The patients and staff from ward five at the Newsam Centre at Seacroft Hospital are making some soups and bringing them down as a donation to the homeless to give back to the community. We will also be having dinner with them this Saturday when they drop those off.”
Rebecca added: “We also want to thank Homeless Street Angels for agreeing to help us make this day happen.”
Donations to the project also include 30 chairs from St Michael’s Church in Headingley, £1,000 to spend at Makro from Leeds restaurant Sukothai, as well as numerous donations of mince pies, Christmas crackers, cake and drinks.
Leeds taxi firm Amber Cars has offered to donate as many taxis as are needed to transfer the homeless from the city centre to Meanwood on the day.
Mum Angie, 50, added: “I’ve seen how big homelessness is - it’s quite shocking. They don’t get to have Christmas so we’re giving up our Christmas Day to try and help them and raise awareness. It’s really important.”
Becky Joyce, of Homeless Street Angels, said: “I thinks it’s amazing the community coming together again to help us help the less fortunate.”
Leftovers will all be boxed up and distributed on the streets by Angie, Rebecca, Becky and Shelley later that night.