For the sixth consecutive year, catering students prepared and served Christmas meals for more than 30 residents at a shelter for the city’s homeless.

Two teen students cleaning a red steam locomotive called Jerry M

Two Saints hostel, Hope House, welcomed the Highbury College catering students as they volunteered their time to give back to the community.

Lisa Harris, Team Leader at Hope House, said: "Many of our residents, especially around this time of year, go into isolation so events like this are essential to encourage people to interact and grow stronger.

"Hope House provides stage one accommodation for people who have been living on the streets and supports them to live independently."

The 32-roomed property provides accommodation for single homeless adults with a connection to the Portsmouth area.

According to the City Council Homelessness Strategy and the national Rough Sleepers Count, the number of individuals without overnight accommodation in Portsmouth has reduced from 42 in 2017 to 19 in 2018.

Lisa added: "Our residents have really enjoyed their turkey dinners, with all the trimmings, and we are so grateful to the students who have kindly given up their time to help others."

The Level 3 Professional Cookery students, Alfie Windebank, Lara Saunders, Luke Galea, Niamh Watson volunteered to rustle up a festive feast with ingredients donated by local suppliers, including turkey donated by Owton’s butchers, vegetables, Christmas pudding and mince pies donated by Harvest Fine Foods and sauces by Essential Cuisine.

Aspiring chef Alfie Windebank said: "We volunteered our time to help people in need. The experience has been great and it’s brilliant to support the homeless, especially around Christmas."

Catering tutor Matt Sussex added: "We’re very proud of our students who volunteered their own time to prepare these meals. Experiences like this allow them to put into practice the skills they’ve learned while giving back to the local community. We’d like to thank Hope House for this opportunity and wish all the residents and staff a Merry Christmas."

Article Details

  • Date 12/12/2019