Businesses help to provide Christmas dinner for homeless people in Lincoln
Homeless people sleeping on Lincoln's streets will be treated to a Christmas dinner thanks to three businesses.
City law firm Sills and Betteridge has stepped forward to organise the meal after hearing about the plight of 70 people sleeping rough.
The firm has enlisted the help of suppliers and their own 200 staff to provide the meal, as well as blankets and socks.
The meal is being cooked and served by volunteers – all current or former homeless people – at St Mary le Wigford church, in St Mary's Street, on Sunday, December 23 at 6pm.
The church has been providing a pre-Christmas lunch since 2008 but this year's meal was under threat due to lack of funds.
Reverend Liz Jackson, co-ordinator of the church's BeAttitude project, which helps Lincoln's homeless, said the number of people sleeping on the streets had dramatically risen in the last two years.
She said: "We have provided a pre-Christmas lunch since 2008 but we had no plans as to how we would cover the extra cost this causes this year until Sills and Betteridge made this generous offer.
"The community at BeAttitude is genuinely grateful for the interest shown and support given by the firm."
Odling Brothers Butchers, in Navenby, has stepped forward to donate the turkeys while Andy Tasker, from Beckfield Nurseries in Brant Broughton, has supplied the vegetables.
Sills and Betteridge is paying for the rest of the meal and collecting items to help keep the homeless warm in the plummeting temperatures.
Andrew Payne, senior partner at Sills and Betteridge, said: "It's easy to forget there are those considerably worse off. Most of us take a roof, heating and food for granted but for some, that is a dream.
"It's tragic to think that while many of us indulge in lots of food and gifts, there are dozens of people in this city who will be struggling to survive.
"Whatever the circumstances, no one deserves to find themselves in that position. All the partners and staff wanted to do something to help.
"We are delighted and humbled that others have joined us to provide hot food and blankets.
"We hope we can bring back a glimmer of hope to those who need our help."
And Alan Odling, from Odling Brothers Butchers, added: "It's especially important at this time of year to do something to help others and there are few more deserving than those with no home or little joy.
"I hope, in some small way, we have helped make a difference."