Caprice makes a meal of it at homeless shelter

The American supermodel celebrated Thanksgiving with homeless women at the Marylebone Project

SUPERMODEL Caprice got up to her elbows in Brussels sprouts and gravy last week as she kicked off Thanksgiving celebrations at a Marylebone homeless women’s shelter.

The American beauty and underwear designer carved the turkey with television style expert Brix Smith-Start before chatting with women at the Marylebone Project, on Daventry Street.

More than 50 homeless women enjoyed the meal with all the trimmings, laid on by American InterContinental University (AIU), whose London campus is on Marylebone High Street.

Caprice said: “I think the project is fantastic. These are very special ladies who are in very unfortunate circumstances but they are all happy and you just can’t buy that.

“This is a huge holiday for us in America so it’s very special for me to celebrate with them. They are really opening up to us.

“We take so much for granted and it’s great to have a day to appreciate what we are thankful for. Coming to a place like this makes you appreciate it even more.

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“I just want to go back to my office and bring all the women a whole bunch of bras and knickers.”

The Marylebone Project is the largest centre for homeless women in the UK with bed space for 112 residents.

Catering for women escaping various issues including domestic violence, sexual exploitation and mental health issues, the centre provides free clothing, food and accommodation, as well as operating a drop-in-centre for 500 women every year.

Angie Coleman, Marylebone Project hostel manager, said: “The women come to us from all walks of life. Some have been subjected to violence, some have mental health problems – it totally varies.

“The idea of the project is to give people refuge, build up their self-esteem and give them life skills to help them get back on their feet again.

“This Thanksgiving event is nice because it’s an opportunity for the women to come together and have a nice meal. It’s about giving thanks for what you have in your life and all the women have written what they are thankful for on a leaf and put it on the wall.”

Ms Smith-Start, a fashion expert on TV programme Gok’s Fashion Fix, said: “I was trying to find out about them – everybody has a story to tell. If there’s anything I can do to just be someone for them to talk to and bring them some positivity then that’s great.”

As well as providing the funding for the meal, students from AIU helped dish up the food. Its vice president of academic affairs, Dr Randolf Cooper, said: “For us this represents a neighbourhood project which is an extremely worthwhile cause for homeless women.

“I think it’s gone very well. The main thing is the ladies have come to enjoy themselves and they are doing just that. They are having a great time.”