Leeds homeless treated to Christmas dinners served by city’s top sportsmen

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Around 100 homeless people in Leeds were treated to a Christmas dinners served by some of the city’s top sportsmen.

Leeds Rhinos legends Jamie Peacock and Kevin Sinfield were joined by professional boxer Josh Warrington in serving scrumptious and nutritious meals at St George’s Crypt in the city centre.

PIC: James Hardisty

PIC: James Hardisty

This was the second time the charity had handed out the free dinners with Steven Lowe at Bidvest Foods having donated all the food for both years.

Volunteers led by Gina and Scott Howard from The Fleece pub in Farsley sang festive carols as they served up the grub while Santa Claus himself mingled with diners before handing out presents.

And each beneficiary also received a survival backpack filled with essentials including hats, scarves, blankets, shower gel and toothbrushes.

Mr Peacock said: “I came down last year and it was a real eye-opener and such a humbling experience for me.

PIC: James Hardisty

PIC: James Hardisty

“Christmas isn’t just about giving and receiving presents it’s also about helping people out who aren’t as fortunate as yourself.

“This is about caring for some people who have come across some difficult times in their life and by playing a small part today it could hopefully make them feel a little bit better.”

Mr Sinfield said: “This is my first time doing this. I knew Jamie had come down last year and he told me what a good experience it was.

“I just think it’s a really nice thing to do.” Adele Little, one of the organisers of the event said “it meant so much” to have the sports stars there.

PIC: James Hardisty

PIC: James Hardisty

She said: “This isn’t to drum up a circus but it is about raising awareness for these people who can’t have Christmas like the rest of us can. Today has been a great success and everyone has had a great time.

“We’ve even had grown men sitting on Santa’s lap.”

St George’s Crypt, on Great George Street, is one of Leeds’s oldest homeless charities and it provides people in need with a bed, shower and hot meal.

The organisation also gives advice and support to help them get back on their feet.

Fundraising director, Martin Pattison, said: “The support from volunteers today helps give something little to those who have nothing. This means so much at Christmas when the world concerns itself with consumerism and so many people are left behind.”