2019 Christmas Day, Trinity Square Nottingham, ran by Tracey's Street Kitchen (Image: www.tracey'sstreetkitchen.co.uk)

Coronavirus has forced many of us to cancel our plans over the festive period, but Tracy’s Street Kitchen in Nottingham refuses to let the homeless down this Christmas.

Tracy’s Street Kitchen was set up in 2016 by Tracy Dickinson and Andrew Ellis.

Miss Dickinson became homeless at the age of fourteen and since turning her life around has dedicated hers to helping those in need.

Tracy Dickinson and Andrew Ellis: Co-founders of Tracy’s Street Kitchen (Image: www.tracey’sstreetkitchen.co.uk)

With the help of many volunteers, the two co-founders have hosted Christmas Day for the past five years serving homemade Christmas dinners, hot beverages and offering a family environment for those who have nowhere to go.

Mr Ellis explained how their annual Christmas would have to have to take a different approach this year, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Due to social distancing, the usual family style, sit-down Christmas that the kitchen creates can’t take place this year.

Instead, on the 25th December at 11am in Trinity Square, the team will provide hot drinks and ‘festive cobs’ in a ‘grab and go’ approach, to ensure social distancing takes place.

Therefore all guests must leave once they receive their food.

Christmas 2019, Trinity Square, Tracy’s Street Kitchen (Image: www.tracey’sstreetkitchen.co.uk)

“…And of course some chocolate, you’ve got to have chocolate at Christmas!”
Andrew ellis, co-founder of tracy’s street kitchen

Mr Ellis explained; ”Unfortunately it won’t be a sit-down meal but there will be a variety of food…they’ll also get backpacks with all the basic toiletries and a few little extras with t-shirts, underwear and socks just to help them on their way. And of course some chocolate, you’ve got to have chocolate at Christmas!”

“…we’re really struggling like everyone else at the moment.”
Andrew Ellis, co-founder of tracy’s street kitchen

With Nottinghamshire now being placed in Tier 3 after the national lockdown, Mr Ellis explained the impact that the pandemic has had on the kitchen.

“We’ve not been able to get supplies and food that we would normally get off certain companies…we’re really struggling like everyone else at the moment.”

Local restaurants such as ‘Son of Steak’, have helped the kitchen over the years with constant access to hot water, left over food and tables where customers can sit when they eat their food.

However, due to the closure of hospitality industries, this has not been possible, making life harder for the team.

The kitchen have been robust all through lockdown, offering support and hot meals every Friday in Trinity Square, Nottingham City Centre and will continue to do so.

Tracy’s Street Kitchen is a non-profitable organisation and rely on donations and sponsors.

“DOnations have dropped.”
Andrew Ellis, co-founder of tracy’s street kitchen

Mr Ellis explained how the pandemic has resulted in a lack of funding.

“Donations have dropped and I’ve got to mention as much as I hate to…financial donations as well. Like any organisation there are hidden costs.”

To support this local company visit http://tracysstreetkitchen.co.uk/.

Generous donations made last Christmas, Trinity Square, Nottingham City Centre (Image: www.tracey’sstreetkitchen.co.uk)