A NEW business in York opened its doors to help the city’s homeless.

Terry Birt opened Creative Cooking in Middlethorpe Grove, Dringhouses, just over two months ago, after moving to the city and said he wanted to do something to help homeless people.

Terry, 55, previously ran street food vans in Stevenage, but said he had always wanted to run a bistro and, when he finally opened one, was determined to help those less fortunate than himself.

With donations of food from Lidl, chocolate from Nestle, time and effort from friends and family - including one friend who drove four hours to wash up for the day - Terry opened Creative Cooking on December 10, and welcomed about two dozen people for a free lunch.

Terry said: “York is a beautiful place and it’s just been one of those things I’ve always wanted to do and I will continue to do it. If I didn’t have support behind me I could have been like them - you don’t realise how close you are to being on the streets, maybe one or two pay checks.

“I owned street food vans down south and used to help the homeless back then, but didn’t have anywhere to sit them. I decided that’s what I wanted to do, and a few friends of mine collected coats and hats and gloves and shipped them up for me.”

As well as a Christmas lunch, complete with crackers and hats, guests were given a small box of chocolates and a mince pie to take away with them.

His neighbours at Fringe Hairdressers and friends from Redub Coffee Club also offered haircuts and hot drinks to the homeless, and Terry said he hoped to make it a regular event.

He said: “I want to do it every two months in my restaurant but need someone to help sponsor it and provide some of the food. I’ll provide the location and staff.”

To help with the next meal, planned for February, contact creativecookingyork@gmail.com