Local celebs to join NPOs in bringing festive cheer to city’s housing insecure by again holding Christmas Lunch Under the Bridge with them

Assist Bryan Torien and Soli Philander make Christmas Lunch under the Bridge a success. Photo: supplied

Assist Bryan Torien and Soli Philander make Christmas Lunch under the Bridge a success. Photo: supplied

Published Dec 18, 2022


Cape Town – Christmas, a time for family, love and good food, but, unfortunately, not many have this privilege.

This is why two local non-profit organisations are teaming up again this year to bring the true value of the holidays to many.

Bryan Torien, from the Breaking Boundaries Building Bridges, and radio and TV personality Soli Philander, from the Soli Philander Foundation will be teaming up to Christmas Lunch under the Bridge and spread love, joy and a wonderful meal with the housing insecure.

This is the second year the event, Christmas Lunch under the Bridge will be hosted.

The Soli Philander Foundation feeds the housing insecure six days a week. According to Torien, Philander is a fantastic ambassador for the lunch as he has an amazing relationship with many of the guests who will be attending.

Wanting to make this as memorable as possible, Torien and his friend will be cooking a four-course meal.

For starter seafood gratin, the main meal will consistent of butter chicken curry, roti, roast chicken, roast lamb, roast vegetables, yellow rice and roast potatoes.

Guests will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to dessert as trifle, boeber (a Cape Malay delicacy), and more will be available.

Tucking inAssist Bryan Torien and Soli Philander make Christmas Lunch under the Bridge a success. Photo: supplied

All guests will also be gifted their own little snack tray along with a gift pack of much needed essentials.

Previously, Torien told IOL sponsors such as Banks Kitchen Services who provided crockery and cutlery last year, and Mariska from Kekkel n Kraai, who provided all the chicken, were the true stars, and this year he hopes it could be even better.

“On December 24, when we sit down with our guests we want to make them feel like family.

“We want them to feel integrated and not as outcasts. We understand what it’s like to not have a table to put your feet under.

The team behind the scenes. Photo: supplied

“So, we want them to know that this Christmas lunch and a Christmas celebration designed specifically for them.

“We want people to feel love,” Torien told IOL.

He even quotes world-renowned scientist Albert Einstein: “Life is like a bicycle; to keep your balance you must keep moving.”

This is to inspire hope for their guests.

Soli Philander and Bryan Torien. l SUPPLIED

Torien said the theme for the year is #HOPE.

“We have a HOPE board and we are asking children to make a card for our guest. A card that shares a message of hope,” he said.

The location of the event has moved from under the bridge near the elevated roadway in Green Point.

“The event will move from under the bridge to the courtyard of Springfield Terrace’s courtyard in District Six.

“Last year we catered for 50 but fed 73. I think this year it will be the same.

All guests will be spoilt with individual snack platters. l SUPPLIED

“This year we would like children to come out to Springfield Terrace and put up their cards on our board of hope.

“They can comes share their messages of hope and love and take a picture with Soli and Father Christmas,” Torien said.

Below the board of hope, a basket of hope will be placed so anyone dropping buy can drop off socks, toiletries or any essentials for the guests of the day.

Torien and the rest of the team are bursting with happiness and excitement, but they do need assistance from the public to make this all they have imagined.

Tucking in to festive fare. l SUPPLIED

Donations are needed to make this Christmas celebration a success.

“To make this as perfect as can be, we will need to raise R20 000 to cover everything,” he said.

Torien will need tables, trestles, cutlery, crockery and more.

“We are moving from under the bridge to the terrace and with hot weather expected we just want our guests to be comfortable.

“So if a company who has branded gazebos is willing to lend it to us for the day so our guests won’t need to sit out in the hot sun, it would be highly appreciated,” Torien said.

However, the housing insecure will not be the only guests.

Philander have opened the doors for members from the LGBTIQ+ community who have are also outcast by family, and friends to join them and share the love.

When asked if Christmas Lunch under the Bridge will be an annual event hosted, Torien said: “This is now a proven concept so, yes. The dream is to get other people to adopt a bridge. We will help them. We will show them how to run it”.

Torien and his friends are proof that showing kindness and love to others brings joy to all.

If you would like to assist them making this Christmas celebration a success, please contact Bryan Torien on 067 080 7276.

Monetary donations can also be made.

Bank: FNB

Account type: business

Branch code: 201909

Account number: 62865817591

Reference: CLUTB + initial and surname

Please note, should you make donations, please send a proof of payment to [email protected].

[email protected]