Ian Leggo – one of the Byron Beggars' Banquet volunteers.
Ian Leggo – one of the Byron Beggars' Banquet volunteers. The Northern Star

Byron Beggars' Banquet to help the homeless

RETIRED TAFE teacher Ian Leggo was moved to volunteer for Byron Bay's Beggars' Banquet after seeing articles in The Northern Star about the plight of the homeless in the busy tourist town.

“I wanted to do something to help,” Mr Leggo, 64, said.

That was three years ago and Mr Leggo, who also volunteers for St Vincent de Paul, is now co-ordinating the third Beggars' Banquet, to be held at Railway Park on December 13, from 11am to 11pm.

“The traditional concept behind a beggars' banquet is a feast in which all members of the community come together in a spirit of equality, friendship and celebration,” Mr Leggo said.

The banquet will feature a free community feast, accompanied by a smorgasbord of music, performance and dance, with some of the shire's best-loved acts lining up to be on the bill.

“There will be free food from midday,” Mr Leggo said.

“We have mostly cold foods – chicken, salads and fruit.”

The previous two Beggars' Banquets have raised funds to help resolve issues surrounding homelessness within Byron Shire.

Funds from previous banquets were used to buy lockers for the Byron Youth Service. They will be used to trial a storage facility for homeless youth in the region.

Mr Leggo said proceeds from this year's banquet would go towards supporting a drop-in centre at Byron Bay.

“There needs to be somewhere permanent where people can feel comfortable to visit, have a shower and use facilities,” he said.

“On any given day there could be between 50 to 100 homeless people in the area.”

Banquet organisers are inviting the community to give generously – donations of food for the banquet, cash or goods for redistribution or a raffle are welcome.

To donate or volunteer at the banquet call Mr Leggo on 6680 7304 or 0403 178 451.



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