THE North-East half of TV’s Hairy Bikers rolled into town to cook up a festive meal for those in need.
Si King, who along with culinary chum Dave Myers makes up the famous duo, was in the region to officially launch homeless charity Crisis’s Christmas Party week.
The organisation is calling on families, offices, schools and community groups to host a Yuletide bash with a difference in order to raise money to support its work with those who living on the streets.
Si spent the day preparing the feast at the charity’s training and support centre in Newcastle.
“We’re here to kick off the campaign and what we’d like people to do is to raise money for Crisis over Christmas,” said Si.
“Anything they can think of that gets a load of people together, get them together to celebrate the festive period, have a dinner party maybe, charge them for a ticket and give the money to Crisis.
“It’s that simple and that’s what I’m doing, I’m putting a dinner on tonight for 20 users of the charity and we’ll sit down together and celebrate and if I can do it everyone else can too.
“I’m incredibly lucky in that I have the support of my family during this time of year but being homeless is really quite isolating, disempowering and very depressing and Crisis step into that void which is really important.”
Crisis director June Grimes said it had been “amazing” to have Si meet with clients.
“Si offered to do this to help launch our appeal and it’s been fantastic,” said June, 63. “He really reflects the generosity and warmth of people from the North East.
“He’s been working in the kitchen, teaching our clients how to cook a proper Christmas feast and the laughter that’s come from there has been very special.”
Following the financial crash of 2008, homelessness has risen substantially in recent years.
Last year, 112,070 people in England approached their council as homeless, while the number of those people rough sleeping has risen by 36 per cent over three years.
“Being homeless is a lonely existence and that’s why we’re launching the appeal, because it’s much more poignant at this time of year,” added June.
“Most of us spend our time off enjoying life with friends and family, but if you’re homeless, you can’t do that.
“That’s why we’d like people to hold a Christmas party or any kind of celebration, whether it’s at their workplace, factory or even in their own home.
“By doing that it will raise awareness of the need for help for homeless people across the country.
For more information visit the Crisis website HERE.