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Leicester Tigers cook up a storm for homelessness charity

Rugby players from Leicester Tigers Development Squad help to serve dinners to the city’s homeless community at The Hope Centre.

14 rugby players from the Leicester Tigers Development Squad showed their charitable side on Thursday 14 December when they helped to serve evening meals to rough sleepers in Leicester.

The players supported staff at The Hope Centre on Melton Street in Leicester during the daily dinner service to rough sleepers from the city.

Dave Bassett, Rugby Operations Coordinator at Leicester Tigers said: “It is brilliant to be involved with a local charity who are doing such valuable work for those less fortunate than ourselves.

“For our development squad players this has been a great project for teamwork and self organisation. It is also very eye opening and grounding for them to hear some of the life stories and interact with the people the charity supports so well.”

Joe Maksymiw, Leicester Tigers player added: “We’re here as a group to give back to the community as we recognise we’re in a fortunate position. It gives boys experience of cooking on a large scale after partaking in the RPA Dundee cookery course.

“The players came together to not only take part but also funded the project and all of tonight’s food collectively.

“It has been a great experience, working together as the mighty red machine, which is what we’ve dubbed ourselves after weeks of working in the kitchen, and being able to provide support and food to members of the public in need.”

The Hope Centre was opened in September 2017 and enables The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope charity to offer a range of specialist support services including mentoring and mental health wellbeing. The centre also provides up to 100 early breakfast servings for rough sleepers per week and almost 10,000 meals per year to the homeless and vulnerable.

The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope is hosting a fundraising Six Nations dinner on 31 January 2018 at Leicester College. Tickets care £35 each and can be purchased from info@carolynactonevents.co.uk.

The charity is also staging a Firewalk event on 9 February 2018 at Sainsbury’s in Oadby, Leicestershire and is looking for volunteers and sponsors. Interested people can register their interest with keithlawsonwest@hotmail.co.uk.

Steve Owen, Chair of The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope added: “We’re delighted that the Leicester Tigers Academy team was able to come to The Hope Centre to support our service users and we thank them for their support.

“Through partnerships such as this one, we seek to build hope, develop wellbeing and offer opportunities. Opportunities to engage with such activities help to build confidence, self esteem and resilience for the many people suffering economic and social isolation, and battling depression and other mental health issues.”

The Bridge – Homelessness to Hope charity is run by over 60 volunteers plus three part- and full-time staff, and has been helping homeless people to turn their lives around since 2009. For more information, visit www.bridgeleicester.org

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