Rustling up Christ­mas din­ner – for 1,000!

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

A MUM and a team of vol­un­teers have rus­tled up a stag­ger­ing 1,000 Christ­mas din­ners for those on their own and in need.

They were then de­liv­ered warm and ready to eat to en­sure even the most iso­lated in Greater Manch­ester got into the fes­tive spirit. The idea is the brain­child of a mum-of-five who now ev­ery year gives up her own Christ­mas to slave away over a hot stove and spread some joy. Eight years ago Natalie Lek, 40, who lives in Swin­ton, felt com­pelled to put out a mes­sage on so­cial me­dia say­ing that any­one who was go­ing to be on their own, or who couldn’t af­ford a din­ner, to let her know and she would cook them one.

“I thought it would be about 10 or 15 peo­ple” she says. “It ended up be­ing around 70.” And the num­bers have grown and grown each year and they ex­pected to cook a thou­sand this year.

The Launch Project has now be­come a full-time op­er­a­tion with the project re­ceiv­ing re­fer­rals from lo­cal coun­cils and char­i­ties such as Age UK and the Mus­tard Tree.

This year she was helped by a team of around eight vol­un­teers to help cook the hun­dreds of meals re­quested.

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