Oxford-based homeless charity the Gatehouse served up a festive feast last week thanks to the support of Hawkwell House Hotel.
The Gatehouse partnered with the boutique hotel to cook and serve a complete Christmas meal to more than 50 homeless and vulnerably housed people in the city centre on the night of Friday, 22 December.
Hawkwell House designed and prepared the special Christmas meal, including roast turkey with all the trimmings and a seasonal dessert for guests at the community café.
Anthony Pitcher, the Head Chef, and Nick Jefford, the hotel’s General Manager, joined the Gatehouse team to serve the meal and welcome visitors.
The Gatehouse offers free support to anyone over the age of 25 who is homeless, vulnerably housed, on low income or in need of community support. It has been operating in the city for more than 30 years to provide hot food, shower facilities and clothing, as well as counselling and personal support.
Nick Jefford, General Manager of Hawkwell House Hotel, said: “The Gatehouse is a brilliant charity that makes a real difference in the lives of homeless and vulnerable people in our community, so we are pleased we have been able to support them.
“Homelessness is a problem that affects so many people in Oxford, and it can be particularly difficult at this time of year, so we wanted to find a way to boost spirits and spread some festive cheer.
“Many visitors to the Gatehouse won’t get to enjoy a proper Christmas meal this year so our kitchen team were excited to prepare this special meal and give them that opportunity.”
The charity operates a drop-in centre at St Giles Parish Rooms on Woodstock Road and serves hot food to guests six nights a week. All services and support offered by the Gatehouse are completely free of charge, so the charity relies on the help of volunteers and community support.
Zoe Wright, Operations Manager of The Gatehouse, said: “The Christmas dinner donation from Hawkwell House Hotel was very generous and fantastic for lifting the spirits of our visitors.
“This year, The Gatehouse has provided over 13,000 meals to well over 400 individuals, and we couldn’t do this without the support from the local community.
“We always welcome donations so if anyone is interested in providing further support to our community centre we would encourage them to get in touch. We are really grateful to Hawkwell House for making a difference and spreading the true meaning of Christmas.”
Mercure Oxford Hawkwell House is a boutique 77-bed hotel based in Iffley Village. It offers all-day dining to guests and visitors to the hotel in its main restaurant and lounge, as well as alfresco dining on the terrace all year round.