Wrexham councillor’s Christmas treat for the homeless

Reporter:

Rebecca Cole

AT CHRISTMAS TIME it is easy to get wrapped up in our own plans with family and friends but one councillor is making sure Wrexham’s homeless are not forgotten.

Cllr Paul Pemberton has spent the last three months organising a three-course slap up meal for those facing Christmas on the streets and he hopes the festive feast will show the community cares.

On Thursday, the Ponciau councillor will treat homeless guests to a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including a soup of the day starter, freshly baked mince pies and ice cream for dessert, at the Market Street car park in Wrexham town centre, from 5pm.

According to Paul he believes Christmas is a time when we should think about those who cannot enjoy the many little luxuries we take for granted.

He said: “In the last few years I’ve realised how many homeless people there are in Wrexham.

“They have it really hard and I just want to do something to make life a bit easier.”

Paul has organised similar events in previous winters, including a barbecue and a hotpot supper, but he believes some homeless people were a little wary of going along.

Now, he is on to his third he hopes more will come along and he is certain it will be bigger and better than ever before.

He said: “It’s on a much bigger scale this time. We’ve got gazebos to keep everyone dry and plenty of tables and chairs and there’ll be a team of 12 volunteers helping me out on the day. Father Christmas is coming and there’ll be trees, decorations, music, Christmas crackers and party hats – everything a good Christmas party should have.

“I just hope the weather stays ok for us.”

And Paul is delighted by how much help he has received from his neighbours in Rhosllannerchrugog.

He said: “I’ve had complete strangers giving me shoeboxes full of donations and a number of cash donations to help pay for the turkeys.

“I’ve got Audra West, from the council’s assisted living department, handing out clothes and Key Gas have donated enough canisters to keep the food warm.”

According to Paul, every guest will be given a Christmas present, something to make life a little more comfortable during the cold weather, and he has been inundated with scarves, jumpers, hats and cleaning products.

He added: “Nothing will go to waste – any leftover food will be sent straight to the Ty Nos shelter and clothes will go to the Salvation Army.

“The thing that most people don’t realise is that plenty of us are or have been only one or two pay packets away from being in this situation ourselves. And some of them might have problems but they’re ordinary people like us.

“They’re always so grateful and I hope they go away knowing that people care.”

See full story in the Leader

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