Embracing the holiday spirit, Oxford-based homeless charity The Gatehouse and the esteemed Hawkwell House Hotel recently collaborated to orchestrate a touching event that brought joy and nourishment to over 50 homeless and vulnerably housed individuals in the community.
Last month, the partnership between The Gatehouse and Hawkwell House came to life as they united to organize and serve a complete Christmas meal at the community café. The hotel, situated in the picturesque Iffley village, took charge of designing and preparing a sumptuous feast, featuring the classic roast turkey with all the trimmings and a delightful seasonal dessert.
The chef and general manager of Hawkwell House Hotel actively participated in serving the meal, aiming not only to provide a festive experience but also to remind those facing homelessness that they are valued members of the community.
Expressing enthusiasm about the collaboration, the general manager stated, “The Gatehouse is a commendable charity that significantly impacts the lives of homeless and vulnerable people in our community, so we are pleased to support them. Homelessness is a prevalent issue in Oxford, particularly challenging at this time of year, and we wanted to boost spirits and spread festive cheer.”
The Gatehouse, with over three decades of dedicated service, offers free support to individuals aged 25 and above who are homeless, vulnerably housed, on a low income, or in need of community support. Beyond providing hot meals, the charity extends assistance through shower facilities, clothing provisions, counselling, and personal support.
The operations manager of The Gatehouse expressed gratitude for Hawkwell House’s contribution, stating, “The Christmas dinner donation from Hawkwell House Hotel was incredibly generous and uplifting for our visitors. This year, The Gatehouse has provided over 13,000 meals to well over 400 individuals, made possible only through the support of the local community. We always welcome donations, so if anyone is interested in providing further support to our community centre, we encourage them to get in touch. We are truly grateful to Hawkwell House for making a difference and embodying the true meaning of Christmas.”
The Gatehouse operates a drop-in centre at St Giles Parish Rooms on Woodstock Road, providing hot meals to guests six nights a week. Entirely reliant on volunteers and community support, the charity ensures that all its services are offered free of charge, emphasizing the significance of collective efforts in addressing the issue of homelessness.
Hawkwell House Hotel, part of the Mercure Oxford Hawkwell House, is a boutique 77-bed establishment situated in Iffley village. Apart from its cosy accommodations, the hotel offers all-day dining to guests and visitors, providing an inclusive and welcoming space for everyone.
The collaboration between The Gatehouse and Hawkwell House exemplifies the power of community partnerships in addressing critical social issues. By coming together, they not only served a delicious Christmas meal but also shared warmth, compassion, and a sense of belonging with those who need it most. As we reflect on the holiday season, this heartening initiative reminds us of the profound impact that simple acts of kindness can have on individuals facing challenging circumstances.