Staff at the Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds Rhinos legend Jamie Peacock served up Christmas dinners to over a hundred homeless people today at St George’s Crypt.
People in need enjoyed a free dinner, as well as being provided with survival backpacks, which will be stuffed full of essential toiletries and warm winter accessories including hats, scarves and blankets.
Each backpack will also contain a voucher for a two night stay at St George’s Crypt.
The Crypt, one of Leeds’ oldest homeless charities, provides people in need with a bed, shower and hot meal - as well as crucial advice and support to help them get back on their feet.
The 150 dinners will be served by the YEP’s advertising and sales staff, who came up with the idea for the day after a brainstorm on Christmas fundraising.
They were be cooked by Gina Howard, landlady of The Fleece pub in Farsley. The pub also held a raffle last week to raise funds for the day.
Organiser Sarah Charlesworth said: “We thought it was going to be a little thing, but it’s just snowballed, especially after we got in touch with St George’s Crypt. Everyone has chipped in and been really amazing.
“And it won’t end after the event on Friday. We want to create a real legacy, so we will be going back to the Crypt in March or April to replenish the survival backpacks.”
Sarah was joined by fellow team members Adele Little, Sian Rhall and Sean Greenish.
Gina Howard said: “The response from customers of the pub has been phenomenal. The Crypt do amazing work and treat everyone with dignity.
“In our city of Leeds, it’s nice to support a local charity, especially at this time of year.”
* The YEP’s team also completed a trolley dash at Netto in Meanwood to donate food and toileties to the crypt.
More than £212 worth of produce were collected in the supermarket’s aisles which was then matched by the team at Netto resulting in a donation of more than £450.
A further £1,000 was raised through a raffle at The Fleece in Farsley.