The independent London newspaper

MasterChef star cooks up a festive treat

Kadeema Woodbyrne set to host Christmas Day dinner for 50 independent care leavers

15 December, 2017 — By Joe Cooper

Kadeema Woodbyrne: ‘It’s going to be a laugh’

CHRISTMAS can often be a tough time of year for young people who have just left care but don’t yet have a support system around them.

It’s a problem Kadeema Woodbyrne is aiming to solve.

A former chair of Islington’s In-Care Council, Kadeema, 24, is using the organisation she founded, Go Forward Youth, to host a Christmas Day dinner for 50 independent care leavers.

“Christmas Day for most represents a time of togetherness and joy, but for many care leavers this celebratory day represents sadness, loneliness and rejection,” said Kadeema, who is standing as a Labour candidate in next year’s council elections in Clerkenwell ward.

The Christmas dinner at a community venue in the heart of Islington will be cooked by a runner-up from television’s MasterChef.

“It’s going to be a laugh, a really good traditional Christmas Day – just without the arguments!” said Kadeema. “Young people in London are generally quite lonely. We’re in a different era now with how we communicate. Imagine if you had no mum or dad to talk to.”

Kadeema set up Go Forward Youth in 2014. It has secured the backing of big names such as Google.

The aim is to provide a home-away-from-home for care leavers in the form of short-stay accom­modation, first in Isling­ton and then beyond.

If you can help with the Christmas dinner, by volunteering or giving a donation, or if you just want to help the charity, visit

An Amazon wish-list to buy Christmas presents for the young care leavers is at


Share this story

Post a comment