Visitors to a community-run cafe got a surprise present on Christmas Day – when lord mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid turned up with a Christmas tree.
The decorative tree was removed from the Town Hall and Mayor Magid was spotted hauling it through the city streets before reaching its new home at the Foodhall in Eyre Street.
The volunteer-run cafe launched in 2015 with a ‘contribute what you can’ policy as a way of helping to bring the wider community together through their love of food.
It is open to anyone but is aimed at helping vulnerable groups such as homeless people, those affected by mental health issues and isolated people such as the elderly together under one roof.
Louis Pohl, who founded the cafe, said Mayor Magid and cafe volunteers “reclaimed” the tree from the Town Hall and re-sited it in the cafe as a gift to visitors and to help raise awareness of the project.
He added: “We had about 50 people eating together on Christmas Day who were from all different backgrounds who may have otherwise been affected by loneliness or isolation.
“They all loved the tree and it was a really heartfelt gesture to bring it.”
Mayor Magid posted a Christmas message to Facebook in which he posed for a picture wearing a jumper bearing the slogan ‘Jesus was a refugee’.
As part of the column he made reference to the importance of supporting those less fortunate.
He wrote: “So far, the weather this winter has been tolerably nippy in the UK, for those of us lucky enough to have a roof over our heads and access to central heating.
“But processing the state of our country and the state of our planet, constantly sends chills down my spine, and I know I’m not alone in that regard. We are often faced with difficult emotions - of anger, fear and dread.
“Coming to the end of 2018, however, my time as Lord Mayor of Sheffield has taught me two invaluable lessons: that there is always hope even in the obscurest of places, and that the need for compassion in the way we do politics, and do life, has never been greater.
“Inspired by the simple philosophy of ‘doing things differently’, I have attempted to use my platform to celebrate Sheffield and draw awareness to important causes, and to bring people together in a world that’s trying to drive us apart.
“The reception - whether that is on social media, walking through the streets of Sheffield, visiting local schools and businesses or attending events around the country and in Europe, has been overwhelmingly positive and empowering.”