Caring Portsmouth chef offers free breakfasts for the homeless on Christmas

HOMELESS people won't go hungry on Christmas Day.

Wednesday, 21st December 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:02 pm
Billy Willett and Alison Pearce at the burger van. They will give out free food on Christmas Day Picture: Habibur Rahman (161678- 598)

That’s the aim of a caring chef who will be cooking free Christmas breakfasts for the needy in Portsmouth city centre on Sunday.

Billy Willett will be frying up tasty treats from his burger van in Commercial Road to do his bit – and has backed The News’ Christmas campaign for the homeless.

Businessman Billy, 54 – who has been running his mobile burger joint for four years – said it was vital to offer a caring hand to those in desperate need.

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Information about The News campaign for the homeless - Show Them You Care This Christmas

‘It seems there are more people homeless now than ever before,’ he said.

‘If you go through Commercial Road you wouldn’t believe how many people there are on the streets right now.

‘There were three older ladies in their 70s who were on the streets.

‘We just really want to give something back.’

Information about The News campaign for the homeless - Show Them You Care This Christmas

Father-of-three Billy, of King William Street, Portsea, will be pitched up in the city centre from 8am to 11am.

It is the third year he has offered his services for free to help the homeless.

He will be supported by colleague Alison Pearce and has already purchased all the food that he needs to cook.

He has even refused food donations from the staff at Fratton’s Tesco Extra store – which is also backing The News’ Show Them You Care This Christmas effort.

Gemma Morrison is the community champion at the supermarket and said she approached the kindhearted businessman to offer a hand.

But she said: ‘He has everything he needs, he was very honest and said he didn’t want to take it away from someone who needs it.’

Billy added he was grateful for the offer but said: ‘I have all the food I need. I really didn’t need any more help.’

The Christmas campaign is reaching its climax.

It has already been backed by scores of residents, schoolchildren, businesses and churches.

Readers have been digging deep since the effort was launched at the start of the month.

People have already donated hundreds of items of clothing to The News’ HQ, at 1000 Lakeside, in Western Road, North Harbour.

There is still time to offer your support to the drive.

Charities are appealing for warm clothing, toiletries, food vouchers, new towels, non-perishable foods, coats and sleeping bags.

All the items donated to The News will be handed to good causes and charities later this week.