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The Case restaurant, in Leicester, feeding those who'd miss out on Christmas Day


A top restaurant opened its doors yesterday to provide a slap-up Christmas meal for people who might otherwise go without.

For seven years, David Hartshorn, owner of The Case, in Leicester, has opened his restaurant so people who are less fortunate can enjoy turkey and trimmings – and a bit of company.

Yesterday, 85 people took the opportunity to have a meal and share the Christmas Day celebration at the Hotel Street restaurant.

Among them were newlyweds Melissa and Ian Drinkwater, who live off Uppingham Road, Leicester.

Melissa, 28, said: "We got married on Saturday and we don't have much.

"We live on benefits. There is no way we could afford a Christmas dinner, so this has been wonderful."

Ian, 42, said: "We heard about the meal from the drop-in centre where we pick up our food parcels.

"This meal was fantastic. I had all three courses.

"I can't praise the people who did this enough."

On the menu was leek and potato soup, followed by turkey and trimmings, rounded off by Christmas pud or chocolate pudding.

Andrew Mayers, 46, who lives in a hostel in Leicester, said: "There is not much out there for us. But this has been tremendous."

Colin Bancroft, 44, who lives off Highfield Street, in the city centre, has recently been made redundant.

He said: "This is the third time I have come here and it's great. The food is lovely and you get to have a chat."

Neighbour Lucy Pillin, 44, who relies on benefits, said: "You can't fault it. It's marvellous."

John Paul Simons, 48, of Braunstone Lane, said: "I live on benefits and this is a life line for me.

"I don't know what I would have done for a meal if it was not for this restaurant."

Restaurant staff gave up part of their day and worked alongside volunteers from The Bridge, a charity which helps homeless people by providing thousands of food parcels and meals each year.

Restaurant owner David said: "We had a really great time serving 85 meals.

"Many of the people who come here have very chaotic lives which have been affected by drink and drugs and this is a chance for them to relax and get a good meal.

"We started this because there was no other place in Leicester where these vulnerable people could get a hot free meal on Christmas Day.

"I would like to thank all the suppliers the staff and the volunteers for helping to create such a special few hours."

The Case restaurant, in Leicester, feeding  those who'd miss out on Christmas Day

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