Natalie Lek Image Vincent Cole
Natalie Lek Image Vincent Cole

The mum and team of volunteers cooking up A THOUSAND turkey dinners for the lonely and needy this Christmas Day

in Manchester News

Mum-of-five and university student Natalie Lek’s brainchild has grown into a big operation with over a dozen volunteer

A mum and a team of volunteers have rustled up a staggering one thousand Christmas dinners for those on their own and in need today.

They will then be delivered warm and ready to eat to ensure even the most isolated in Greater Manchester get into the festive spirit.

The idea is the brainchild of a mum-of-five who now every year gives up her own Christmas to slave away at a stove and spread some joy.

Eight years ago Natalie, 40, who lives in Swinton, felt compelled to put out a message on social media saying that anyone who was going to be on their own, or who couldn’t afford a dinner to let her know and she would cook them one.

“I thought it would be about 10 or 15 people” she says. “It ended up being around 70.”

And the numbers have grown and grown each year and they expect to cook a thousand this year.

The Launch Project has now become a full-time operation with the project receiving referrals from local councils and charities such as Age UK and the Mustard Tree.

This year she will be helped by a team of around eight volunteers to help cook the hundreds of meals that have been requested.

The cooking started on Christmas Eve and despite working till gone midnight Natalie was back up at 5:30am to ensure all the meals were boxed up ready for serving and delivery by another team of around 15 volunteers who also check on them.

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