Birmingham pub to offer free Christmas meals to the homeless

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Free meals: the Old Crown will be offering up to 60 free Christmas meals to the homeless
Free meals: the Old Crown will be offering up to 60 free Christmas meals to the homeless

Related tags Homelessness

The Old Crown in Digbeth, Birmingham, will offer free meals to the homeless and those in need this Christmas Eve.

The city centre pub, which is a Grade II-listed building dating back to the 1300s, will be serving up to 60 Christmas dinners followed by turkey rolls and waffles supplied by The Bournville Waffle Co between 12(noon) and 4pm on Christmas Eve.

It’s the first time the pub has offered free meals to the city’s homeless, however, it has previously raised money for St Basils, a Digbeth-based charity that works with more than 5,000 people aged between 16 and 25, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Ciaran Healy, the Old Crown’s owner, told the Birmingham Mail​: “We want to reach out to those in need this Christmas.

“For many of these people, it will be the only interaction they will have throughout Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

“It’s not just about giving them a meal, it’s about sitting down and spending time with someone who needs it.”

In addition to free meals, the pub is calling for help compiling ‘care packages’ and donations of items such as coats, toiletries, blankets, hats and gloves – which will also be handed out on Christmas Eve.

Alex Powell, who works at the pub, also told the Birmingham Mail​: “We see lots of homeless people in Digbeth and the city centre and wanted to do something to help make other people's Christmas better.

“Our staff members are all volunteering their time to come in on the day and we hope to feed around 60 people with Christmas dinner with turkey rolls.”

A report published by Shelter last month warned of a growing homelessness crisis this Christmas, with 13,000 more people either sleeping rough or in temporary accommodation compared to last year.

The charity’s report revealed that in total, 307,000 people – or one in every 200 – are now categorised as homeless in the UK, which is roughly the same as the population of Newcastle.

Items can be donated at the pub seven days a week from midday. Alternatively anyone who knows someone in need can book a place for dinner by contacting nyrk@gurbyqpebja.pbz​.

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