Liverpool businesswoman Kate Stewart has supported over 2000 families across the city, offering free meals, heat, entertainment, Christmas presents, and free school uniforms.
Kate, owner of The Sandon Complex, opened up her hospitality suites inside the complex in Anfield to welcome families who travelled from across the city to take advantage of the complimentary hot meals, heat and entertainment for their children every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the winter months.
The award-winning businesswoman and her team were overwhelmed with the turnout each week, with parents and their children turning out in their hundreds amidst the cost of living crisis.
Kate has been supporting the community for years, sponsoring five local grassroots football teams, hosting monthly pensioner days to ensure the older generation in Anfield have interaction with others and meet new people, as well as hiring local people.
More recently, the mother-of-four has taken this a step further as she couldn’t stand the thought of some parents having to choose between eating and heating. Along with basic bills, new children’s school uniforms soon add up so Kate personally purchased 250 uniforms for local children, working with the local councillor in Anfield who identified who needed it most to ensure the correct sizing and school uniform was provided.
Over the festive period, Kate facilitated a Christmas Market-themed free shopping day at The Sandon where families could shop for free, picking up Christmas presents and much-needed items.
Kate bought 300 pairs of pyjamas for Christmas Eve and local businesses also contributed with Liverpool One based fashion brand Vincentius donating 100 designer t-shirts, The Liverpool Dockers donated 500 selection boxes and £500 and toys, and Doll Beauty, Hair Choice Extensions and The Secret Warehouse also got involved.
“When times are hard, I can’t just continue with my life knowing that people are going without or worrying about how they’re going to feed their families. I’m in a very privileged position and have the space to welcome 200 people per night for hot free meals, heating and entertainment. For me, it’s a no brainer and whilst there are many other people doing fantastic things for the less fortunate in the city, I’d love to see so many more supporting where they can.
“Over the winter period, it was overwhelming to see so many people coming to The Sandon week in, week out, and as Christmas approached I knew I had to go a step further. I have four children of my own and the festive period is an expensive time so my goal was to take the pressure off and give families in need a place to shop for free so that their children had presents to wake up to.
“International Women’s Day is about shining a light on people who are strong, fierce, independent women and everything that they’re doing and I just hope that our initiatives at The Sandon inspire others to look at the ways in which they can give a helping hand. It’s most important for me to look after the people on my doorstep and I’ll be continuing with that same mentality throughout 2023.”