On Christmas day, Estábulo – an authentic Brazilian restaurant located at St Peter’s Square, Leeds – opened their doors to 75 people experiencing homeless and social isolation.

The initiative was supported by homelessness charity Emmaus Leeds and 25 volunteers, who had given up time with their friends and family on Christmas Day to help welcome guests, serve and replenish food, clear the tables and hand out gifts. Christmas Dinner included unlimited cuts of Brazilian meats and Picanha, the king of all steaks in Brazil.

Rodrigo Durate, Estábulo’s Training Development Area Manager, said: “The event was a huge success – it was such a wonderful and special Christmas day. It wouldn’t have been possible without the help from Zack, the owner, and the help from Joanne at Emmaus and of course the amazing volunteers who gave their precious time on Christmas day to help.”

Zack Issak, Managing Director at Estábulo, said: “We wanted to help others who are less fortunate than ourselves at a time when we are all with our families and we see people living on the streets in poverty. We thought that even a small bit of help would go a long way in showing that there are people who care, so I decided a Christmas meal in a warm inviting place would be perfect.”

Sarah Cowman, volunteer on the day and Marketing Director at Corecom Consulting, said: “It was heart-warming to see the kindness and efforts made by the volunteers and staff at Estábulo. Their kindness was greatly received by the less fortunate; smiles and happiness filled the restaurant and the people I spoke to on the day felt very lucky to be in such a warm, welcoming and hospitable environment on a day when they would possibly be alone and unhappy.”

Joanne Stafford, Projects and Events Leader at Emmaus Leeds, said: “The Estabulo team put on an amazing event, it wasn’t your average Christmas Dinner, the guest were treated to the best of everything and the volunteers gave them such a warm welcome. We support up to 26 formerly homeless men and women in our Emmaus Leeds community, many of our residents did not have a place to go on Christmas Day, and though they have the opportunity to cook together at Emmaus, they are in these walls every day.

“Going to Estábulo took them out of their comfort zone and showed them that they too deserve to go out for a fancy meal and socialise in beautiful surroundings. They thoroughly enjoyed the experience and said the food was amazing. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Estábulo is a Brazillian Rodizio bar and grill which honours the Brazilian Gaúcho’s traditional method of cooking.  Its restaurants are located at Wakefield Merchant Gate, Leeds The Light, Leeds St Peter’s Place, Beverley, Harrogate, Barnsley and Darlington.