“Research has revealed that the more often people eat with others the more likely they are to feel happy and satisfied with their lives.”

~ research from University of Oxford 

Many of us are still feeling the glow from Christmas; memories of joyfully celebrating with friends, family and our communities around a tasty meal.  We may have never considered just how important sharing meals with loved ones is for our wellbeing.  The University of Oxford’s has written an interesting article about this. 

At Genesis Trust, we have learned there is something therapeutic about sitting next to someone for a meal; an excuse to chat and reflect on the day.  It requires so little of us and yet for many of our clients that 30-45 minutes may be their only conversation that the day brings in an otherwise lonely or chaotic day. 

Our established project Life Connect was created in response to this. We offer three warm and healthy meals each week: two at our Gateway Centre and one at St John the Evangelist Church in the city centre. We are so grateful for this wonderful partnership with St John’s. Over the course of 2023, we shared food and companionship with 3308 people over 116 sessions. Please watch our Life Connect video to get a flavour of each mealtime.  

These meals are provided in a safe, warm, friendly and welcoming environment for anyone who needs company whilst they eat. It provides community for people and allows us to connect in conversation with those who may be homeless or vulnerable.  It’s more than just a meal but a relational connection that can lead to further support.    

Life Connect meals are a great deal of work and wouldn’t be possible without the dozens of volunteers who cook, serve, clean up and socialise with each visitor. Thank you to our wonderful Wednesday morning breakfast crew for the lovely English breakfast! Thank you to the volunteer team at St John’s Church who cook such a wide variety of healthy meals every Thursday.  And thank you to all the volunteers that make It’s a Wrap happen each Friday.   

Christmas Lunches 

And since meals together are so vital to our wellbeing, we hosted two Christmas lunches in December. Over the two meals 76 guests enjoyed a lovely Christmas roast.  Thanks to our Gift Appeal, we were able to gift each client a Christmas present and festive treats. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this.   




“I remember standing in the doorway of the Gateway Centre just observing the warm and joyful atmosphere of the Christmas meals. You can tell people were enjoying themselves. It was a moment of hope and healthy community for our guests.”  

~ Ed Major, Communications Manager for Genesis Trust 

 “Out of all the places I went to over Christmas, Genesis was by far the most welcoming and caring I visited. Even got a considerate bag of treats to go along with it.” 

~ Lance, Genesis Trust guest 

Another thank you goes to Stuart and Mark from the Square Food Foundation who cooked such an amazing meal for us on both days.  Square Food Foundation is a charity that works to reduce hunger, improve health and bring people together through food and cooking.  A perfect match! 

If you know someone who is vulnerable and in need of some food and connection, click HERE to see the times and days of each meal.