Most people will tuck into a sumptuous Christmas dinner today, but for some the festive period can be a hungry one.
But volunteers at both Cheltenham and Gloucester charities are determined to help feed the less fortunate this Christmas by cooking up a storm.
Cheltenham Open Door welcomes people at St Luke’s Church Hall, dishing out hot meals, a bed for the night and access to basic services such as fresh clothes, a shower and hairdressing.
And at Gloucester’s Gear project, more than 200 people turned up to tuck into turkey, gravy and all its trimmings.
Open Door will remain open to anyone who needs help from now until after lunch on December 27.
Coffee and mince pies are also on offer throughout the day for people who need them.
The team at Open Door has been doing Christmas lunches for 22 years, keeping alive a tradition of helping the homeless.
Simon Lewis, a local hairdresser, volunteered his services on Christmas morning, before Cheltenham mayor Wendy Flynn served up lunch at the hall.
Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood will also lend a hand for the Boxing Day lunch shift.
Nicky Bale, operations manager at Gear, said: “It is thanks to the many local community members and businesses who have given their time to volunteer, or generously provided financial donations to cover the cost of this period that GEAR is able to provide this service and show homeless people that they haven’t been forgotten.
However, we would like to emphasise that homelessness is an issue for 12 months of the year, not just for Christmas, and we urge people to extend their generosity beyond the festive period.”
Full stories in tomorrow’s gloucestershireecho.co.uk and gloucestercitizen.co.uk.