Organised by JR Events and Catering, with support from Swansea Council, ‘Together at Christmas’ in the Brangwyn Hall has been hailed a success by Swansea Labour.
The event provided a two-course Christmas dinner for people in Swansea who are vulnerable, feel isolated or may be homeless.
The three-hour lunchtime event gave around 200 people a Christmas party experience, including live music and singers.
Free services at the event, courtesy of local businesses, included a hairdresser and information points on housing support. Information about employment schemes and welfare and benefits advice were also available.
The council’s trading standards team donated de-branded counterfeit shoes and clothing that had been confiscated as part of recent operations.
“Events like this are incredibly important,” said Cllr Andrea Lewis, the council’s cabinet member for homes and energy.
“It is a very difficult time of the year for some people. They need to have company and they deserve a Christmas dinner.
“JR Events pulled out all the stops and the Council, who not only gave the Brangwyn Hall for free, also gave housing advice to those who needed it.
“As cabinet member for housing and energy I am really proud we have put this on for a third year. The problem of homelessness is really important to us as a Labour administration. We have made it one of our top priorities.
“We have just released our homelessness strategy with an extensive action plan to tackle homelessness.
“We are doing an incredible amount around preventing homelessness, but we are also using the housing first model to particularly focus and target on our rough sleepers to give them a roof over their heads.
“We also provide that multi-agency, wrap around support to give them the best chance possible to succeed and sustain their tenancy so they don’t end up back on the streets.”
Cllr Mary Sherwood, cabinet member for better communities said: “Supporting residents facing poverty is a key priority for the council. During ‘Together at Christmas’, council staff gave people guidance on welfare benefits, making sure that those who are entitled to help are claiming all that is available to them.”
“We also have employability schemes that can help long-term unemployed people back into the workplace, as well as help those facing redundancy or stuck in low-paid employment to find alternatives.
“Our staff are helped raise awareness of the event across the city to ensure as many people as possible benefited.”