Lemn Sissay: My Name is Leon

This month, our book has been recommended by author, broadcaster, poet and Chancellor of Manchester University,Lemn Sissay MBE.

He recommends his favourite book, My Name is Leon, by Kit de Waal.

Give a Book have been working with Lemn Sissay’s Christmas Dinners, a wonderful initiative to provide a Christmas Day Dinner for Care Leavers. Led by Lemn Sissay, groups of volunteers all over the UK are putting on a warm and welcoming Christmas Day for Care Leavers, young people aged 18-25 who have left foster or residential care.

This year there are 10 dinners taking place for Care Leavers across the U.K.; providing Christmas days for around 500 Care Leavers. Give a Book have provided books as gifts for the Care Leavers.

For many Care Leavers in the UK, Christmas can be a difficult time, a day spent alone in a bedsit or hostel, feeling isolated and with nowhere else to go. Forced to live independently much earlier than most young people, their resources can be limited and they are often very vulnerable young adults.

2017 will be Manchester’s fifth year of hosting the Christmas Dinner, and a special celebratory day for 50 young people is planned. Guests will have an amazing meal, receive gifts and experience a fun, supportive day surrounded by positivity and friendly faces.

Lemn Sissay says: ‘Many care leavers are sat in flats, B&Bs and hostels, away from family, or sofa-surfing, and some are indeed living on the streets on their own at Christmas. Christmas is a reminder of everything they never had… I know because I’ve shared their experiences… But since 2013, thanks to passionate groups of volunteers supported by generous donations, we’ve been able to put on scrumptious Christmas meals and create a magical day to remember… The Christmas Dinners will be a life-changing and life-saving experience.’

Find out more about how to help in the Christmas Dinner How-To Guide.