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Dean Banks teams up with Dundee charity Parish Nurses to serve up free Christmas dinners

Celebrity chef Dean Banks took time out from his fine dining restaurants to cook a free Christmas dinner for 200 people at The Steeple Church in Dundee yesterday (MONDAY).
Dean donated all the food and brought his executive chef Dan Ashmore to help prep, cook and serve the wholesome meal to people identified by the Parish Nurses as being hungry or cold or just likely to miss out on a festive experience this year.
Dean said: “It’s so important to support our communities and those in need all year round, but that need is even greater at this time of year.
“It’s freezing cold of course, but on top of that Christmas is a difficult time for so many – there’s a lot of pressure and expectation from kids or just on ourselves, and loneliness is an even more crippling issue over this period when everything is about family and celebration everywhere you look.
“We really wanted to do something nice to try and put a smile on some faces and the Parish Nurses are incredible people who really inspire me, so the chance to work with them again makes it so much fun,
Dean teamed up with Parish Nurses Kirsty Nelson and Barbara MacFarlane to invite people the charity wanted to help to enjoy a Christmas dinner cooked by one of the UK’s top chefs.
The Parish Nurses are based in Dundee’s city centre, offering frontline support to people living through poverty, addictions and trauma.
All of the food was donated by Dean’s group, with different elements from different outlets. His Dollar pub The Forager provided sticky toffee pudding – so good many diners were delighted Dean had brought enough for seconds!
Barbara said: “We just couldn’t be more grateful for Dean and Dan, they provide all the food, cook it all to perfection and serve it to our folk.
“Also we have 20 amazing volunteers here – it’s just been brilliant, thank you.”
Dean left feeling inspired by the Parish Nurses and the people he met, and keen to work with them further.
Dean said: “It was great to feel part of today, such a nice atmosphere and great to see everyone happy.
We fed 180 people so a great turnout, lovely to meet so many people, welcome them and make them feel special and appreciated.
“It was about helping the hungry and cold come into the heat and give them something lovely to eat.
“I want to thank the Parish Nurses, and all their volunteers who helped so much, for letting us be part of this incredible experience.
“I’d love to make this an annual thing, so I hope we can all be back in the Steeple Church next year helping make people smile.”
For more on the Dundee Parish Nurses go to www.thesteeplechurch.org.uk/parish-nursing/

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