Christmas for the homeless: Festive meal for Yorkshire’s rough sleepers at Mumtaz Leeds


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SERVING UP A TREAT: Sajeed Mahmood (centre), from the Just Give charity, is spearheading the project in conjunction with Mumtaz Leeds, and will help feed dozens of local homeless later this month

SERVING UP A TREAT: Sajeed Mahmood (centre), from the Just Give charity, is spearheading the project in conjunction with Mumtaz Leeds, and will help feed dozens of local homeless later this month

One of Leeds’ most eminent Indian restaurants is opening its doors to the homeless this month, as they spread a little festive joy to society’s ‘forgotten’ members.

Mumtaz Leeds, on Clarence Dock, will welcome around 60 rough sleepers to their iconic dining establishment on 19th December for a Christmas meal to remember.

With the help of Sajeed Mahmood, from ‘Just Give’ charity, owner Rab Nawaz has arranged for every homeless person to get a free dinner, with Chicken ‘Turkey’ Masala on the menu.

Swapping frosty streets for five-star surroundings, the project is one which has ‘never before been seen in the city’ according to organisers, and for Rab it is a great way of giving back.

He said: “Saj contacted me about the project and I immediately liked the idea. These people are less fortunate than so many of us in society and can’t go to fine dining restaurants, like Mumtaz. It’s coming up to Christmas and it’s a Christmas present from me to them.

“It’s good to treat them and give them the experience of coming to a restaurant which has swinging chandeliers and a grand piano. They’re going to have a great time here.”

Rab is funding the whole night out of his own pocket in the true spirit of Christmas, promising a top end dining experience for every guest on the day.

“It will be special,” he added.

Sajeed, the CEO of Just Give, is the brainchild behind the event.

Setting the charity up with ambitious plans for the future, he says the Christmas with the homeless project is just the first of many initiatives supporters can get involved with.

“Usually the homeless get served food outside in the cold by some great charities but here they can enjoy it in comfort,” he said. “They can say they’ve sat down to a five star meal and it makes it more special, especially at this time of the year.

“It’s Christmas after all and they could be on their own. Instead, we are giving dozens of people the chance to dine and chat with an array of different people, like MP Imran Hussain, Geoff Reid – the Lord Mayor of Bradford – and other local dignitaries.”

Mumtaz Leeds’ Christmas dinner for the homeless will be held on Monday 19th December between 10am and 3.30pm.

If you would like to find out more about Just Give, or make a donation, please visit www.justgive.org.uk or contact the team via 0300 80 80 111 or info@justgive.org.uk

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