Canterbury Christmas Dinner 2017 - for care leavers

With snow falling outside it seems appropriate to tell you about something that we helped support last Christmas - The Canterbury Christmas Dinner.

The event was a wonderful opportunity for the community of Canterbury to show young people who have just left the local authority care system that people really care about them. Around 20 young people were invited. Normally, many of them would be spending Christmas on their own.

Thanks to members of the community the dinner was a splendidly festive event. As well as a meal the invitees – who range between the ages of 18 and 25 – received a gift and had an opportunity to make new friends. As can be seen in the video (link below) they truly appreciated it. One said: “I think it’s the best Christmas I’ve had actually!” Another said: “It felt like one big happy family…I’ve never had that family feeling, so it was quite nice.”

The Christmas Dinner project was set up by author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE, who is currently a Chancellor of the University of Manchester. Lemn spent time in care, and it was his own experience of leaving care and feeling isolated at Christmas that inspired the concept. The Dinners launched in Manchester in 2013; since then the project has spread around the country and has helped bring Christmas cheer to over 1,000 care leavers and their children.

Our Club was asked to support the venture and our Community Service Committee happily agreed to provide £200 towards the transport costs of the event.

To see a video about the 2017 Christmas Dinner event click here.

Volunteers were busy from September onwards. To find out how to get involved in next year’s Christmas Dinner you can visit the Facebook page or email them at

Video by Inochi Pictures. Video snapshot taken from the video. With thanks to Famy Rashid for permissions. 



Monday 26th February 2018

Published by: The Rotary Club of Canterbury

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