No food? No Money? No Home? Merry Christmas!

This month, British shoppers will spend £446,000 every minute of every day on Christmas presents alone. Meanwhile, a record 170,000 people will be homeless and destitute this winter. They won’t get any presents. They won’t have money for a decent meal. And they won’t have a Merry Christmas.

Like everyone at Sufra NW London, the Pope ain’t happy about such rampant inequality. In his Christmas message this year, he lamented that “a few dine luxuriantly while all too many go without the daily bread needed to survive.”

His solution? We should make “sharing and giving” more a part of our lives. We couldn’t agree more. Sharing is what Sufra does best – day in, day out.

Today (literally as we write this newsletter) our volunteers are serving a three-course Christmas Lunch to 150 guests – with all the trimmings. Most of our Christmas guests are homeless, socially isolated or simply can’t afford to have a decent Christmas meal with their family.

If you would like to help share the cost of this mammoth festive feast, please click here

We’ve enlisted over 70 volunteers to make this a memorable occasion, including drivers to collect and drop guests back home. Oh – Santa Clause is also here. Mainly for the free food (I think he’s still waiting for his Universal Credit to come through…). But he will also be helping us hand out presents to every one of our guests.

Thank you, Santa – but how are you going to explain that sun tan to your work coach?

‘Uncle’ Abdalkarim – our longest serving volunteer (and the oldest bloke here) – is now a local celebrity. After a stunning photo of him appeared in The Guardiannewspaper, he has been bombarded by ‘pretty boy’ jokes from fellow volunteers and marriage proposals from total strangers.

He’s so annoyed by the constant teasing that he’s threatening to ‘retire’. Again. But we all know he’s loving the attention really!

The publicity has meant more people are calling up to volunteer at Sufra – including one Pakistani lady from Kilburn who specifically asked if the “handsome man in the photo” happened to be single! Yep, you’ve still got it Uncle 🙂

In recent weeks Sufra has also been featured in The SunThe MetroThe ObserverBrent Magazine, the Brent and Kilburn Times here and here, and even the London North West NHS Trust’s newspaper. Not bad for a small local charity, eh?

Our innovative new service for NHS patients is now being rolled out in hospitals and NHS departments across NW London. The scheme enables NHS staff to distribute emergency food packs to patients in need – either when they are being discharged from care or when they are visited at home.

There’s been considerable demand, especially among the elderly and those with moderate to severe mental health needs who don’t have food at home and can’t make it to the Food Bank.

It’s a free service available to any NHS department in North West London – just get in touch to find out more or register: admin@sufra-nwlondon.org.uk

2018 was packed full of events to celebrate our 5th Anniversary – including Gala Dinners, theatrical performances, refugee events and a supersized Community Kitchen special. Thank you to everyone who came and supported us.

In true Sufra style, we can promise that things are not going to slow down in 2019. Watch this space to find out more about our two new staff members, our all new ‘Coffee Academy’ employability programme, our Food Academy MasterChef competition and much, much more.

And finally…

We’d like to thank every member of the Sufra family: all the people, businesses, schools and faith groups that “share and give” what they have so that we can continue helping thousands of families in crises every year.

And a special HUGE THANK YOU to our 150+ dedicated volunteers who give so much of their time and effort so selflessly. You are an inspiration to us all and Sufra would not exist without you.

Here’s wishing you all an awesome Christmas and an excellent New Year!

Yours,

Sufra Santa’s little helpers!

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