Where to get a free Christmas dinner in your community this year
As the cost of living bites, charities, grassroots groups and restaurants around the UK are offering free food and festive cheer for people on Christmas Day
by: Liam Geraghty and Anita Bhadani
13 Dec 2022
Christmas can be a difficult time for people who are homeless or on their own. That’s why hundreds of kind-hearted volunteers give up their time on Christmas Day to offer hot food and festive cheer. Image: Brett Jordan / Unsplash
Charities, grassroots groups and restaurants around the UK are offering free food and festive cheer for people in their community on Christmas Day.
Christmas might be the most wonderful time of the year for most of us but this year, with the cost of living crisis, millions of people will find it tough. And for people experiencing homelessness it can be particularly difficult.
Many people without a home are often excluded from the festivities and left alone on the streets. Loneliness can be a big issue.
Missing out on Christmas dinner is a sad reality for many – but that’s where hundreds of people have offered to step in this year.
Here’s a round-up of everywhere we know is offering a free Christmas dinner.
Victoria Fish Bar, Whitchurch, Cardiff – The Cardiff fish and chip shop is handing out free meals and offering deliveries this Christmas. The team have actively helped people in the community struggling on Christmas over the last three years, in previous years handing out as many as 850 free meals.
The Anchor restaurant, Swansea – The Swansea establishment is once again donating takeaway Christmas dinners to those experiencing homeslessness, and those who are elderly and isolated. It asks interested parties to contact the team directly by December 18 to book.
Brigend Community Outreach Centre – This community hub in Brigend is hosting a Christmas dinner at its hub on December 23, and additionally offering up a free Christmas breakfast on Chirtsmas day to anyone in need of warmth and good company
Ammanford Evangelical Church – A free community-oriented Christmas dinner, hosted at Llandybie Public Memorial Hall is on offer thanks to Ammanford Evangelical Church. Free transport to the venue is also available. All interested parties must sign up by December 12.
Cegin Hedyn, Carmarthen – New community canteen and kitchen Cegin Hedyn will be serving up to 100 free festive three course lunches on Christmas day. The centre will open at 11am and start serving from 12, and people are encouraged to book ahead by calling 07966 942332.
Pembroke Dock Quins RFC – The rugby club will be serving up free Christmas lunches and hot drinks to anyone who needs them on Christmas Day, and will take place from midday to 3pm at the club’s grounds. Those looking to attend should send an email to email@example.com.
St. Thomas Church, Swansea– The church is once again hosting a free Christmas dinner on Christmas day, between 12.30 to 2.30. It says: “You may be a single parent, an elderly person, an international student, someone who is homeless…the list is endless. You will find a lovely group of people who are hanging out together on this beautiful day from all different backgrounds.” Those interested in attending should book in advance by calling 01792 455671.
The Swansea Wellbeing Centre – The centre is hosting a ‘Big Christmas get-together’ on the day, between 2 to 5pm. This will include a buffet, hot drinks, socialising and fun activities.
Bethany Residential Home, Chepstow– The Bethany Residential Home is hosting a free festive lunch for anyone over 65 in the area alone on Christmas Day. Those interested are advised to get in touch in advance.
Tiny Rebel, Newport – For the third year in a row, the Newport brewery will be offering up to 300 free takeaway Christmas lunches to anyone in need. These can be collected on Christmas Day between 12pm – 2pm at the bar, with a limited number of deliveries available upon advance request.
Stow Park Community Centre, Newport – This community hub is serving up free Christmas lunches to anyone in need, to be enjoyed with good company. This will be held from 12.30 to 2.30 on Christmas day, with diners asked to book in advance.
New Life Church, Cardigan – The Cardigan based church is once again hosting a free Christmas lunch, with those interested encouraged to book ahead.
St Collen’s Hall, Llangollen – A free Christmas lunch will be held here for anyone who needs it – with people welcome from 12.30pm and food served at 1pm. The organisers can also potentially deliver meals for anyone locally unable to travel to the hall. Places must be booked in advance.
St Peter’s Church, Holywell– The church is running a free Christmas dinner for anyone in need, from 1pm on Christmas day. It is expecting a great increase in demand, so booking is essential.
Yellow & Blue community hub, Wrexham– The Wrexham based community hub will host a free Christmas dinner for between 50 to 100 people – with veggie options and specific dietary requirements catered to, if notice is given. The meal will run from midday to 3pm, and booking is required.
The Alexandra pub, Wimbledon, south London – The Wimbledon pub will be welcoming anyone who turns up alone from 12pm to 3pm on Christmas Day the chance to tuck into a free dinner. Announcing the return of the initiative on Twitter it said: “Don’t be on your own on Christmas day, come to us instead. We’ll give you FREE dinner & vino, I 100% promise you there’s no catch. Just come.”
Stockwell Park Community Centre – On December 23, Stockwell Park Community Centre will be hosting a free Christmas dinner between 4 to 7pm. It will also have free welfare advice, haircuts, music, and festivities for anyone sleeping rough.
Brixton Soup Kitchen, south London – Brixton Soup Kitchen has served up 425,000 meals since it started in 2013 and will be adding to that number on Christmas Day. The community group on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton will be open until late on Christmas Day offering up food for anyone who needs it.
Jackson’s Lane, Highgate – Arts and culture venue Jackson’s Lane will be hosting a free sit-down lunch for isolated older adults who would otherwise be alone on Christmas day. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to refer yourself or another.
Community Kitchen, Camden – Across the festive period, Camden’s Community Kitchen will be serving up free festive meals to enjoy for any resident in/local to Regent’s Park Estate (Amptill, Drummond St, Fitzrovia, Euston) in need. These are planned for December 20th, 22nd, 23rd, 28th, 29th, and 30th. Attendees are requested to sign up in advance.
South and east of England
Oxford Christmas Lunch – The Oxford Christmas Lunch will return for 2022 – to book a place, contact them directly.
The Gaskin’s Free Christmas Lunch, Guildford – The Gaskin’s is offering a free Christmas meal to be delivered for anyone within a 10 mile radius in Guildford. Sign up here: https://www.freechristmaslunch.com
Community Voluntary Services Tendring – CVST are opening their doors on Christmas Day between 10am to 3pm for anyone in need of some hot food and company.
North of England
Cornerstone, Manchester – The day centre operated by the Dioceses of Salford on Denmark Road will serve hot food on Christmas Day – get in touch with them directly for more information.
Lifeshare, Manchester – Lifeshare will be offering a seven-day indoor provision over the Christmas period for rough sleepers and those dealing with food insecurity and social isolation. This includes the provision of free Christmas meals: get in touch with Lifeshare for more information.
The People’s Kitchen, Newcastle – The People’s Kitchen has been fundraising through its Feed a Friend for a Fiver campaign throughout December to offer up a free Christmas dinner to homeless people at its Bath Lane base on Christmas Day.
Wood Street Social Club, Glasgow – The club is putting on a free Christmas dinner in the east end of Glasgow on December 22. Places are limited, so contact in advance.
Carea Community Hub, Glenrothes – The Carea Community Hub are serving hot meals over the Christmas period
Large homelessness charities also offer up hot food on Christmas Day in various locations across the country and you can volunteer to help them. Crisis and The Salvation Army are just two of the charities offering vital support, shelter and food on Christmas Day.
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Know of any others offering free food on Christmas Day? Let us know at email@example.com