Big Dinner: Lesley Hinds is charity tram waitress

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Forget meals on wheels, this is dine-by-wire at a sit-down dinner for six on board the Capital’s tram.

Some of the city’s transport chiefs took part in a special dinner last month to launch a new fundraising drive for amputee victims in Africa.

Transport convenor Lesley Hinds and Sandy Crombie let guests enjoy their meal on board the specially-kitted out tram at the Gogarburn depot. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Transport convenor Lesley Hinds and Sandy Crombie let guests enjoy their meal on board the specially-kitted out tram at the Gogarburn depot. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Council transport leader Lesley Hinds played the part of waitress, dishing out steaming-hot Crombies pies and mash to six hard-working staff – including tram boss Tom Norris – on board a tram decked out with its own table and chairs.

The Big Dinner, run by Edinburgh charity 500 miles, aims to raise cash by encouraging Scots to sit down for a global munch on March 7.

The shared meal can be eaten by anyone, anywhere, with diners linked up to others across the country – including famous faces such as Fred MacAulay, Ian Rankin, below, and Hardeep Singh Kohli – via social media. Those taking part simply need to pay a £25 registration fee and have access to broadband internet.

The tram dinner – part of a push to raise awareness of next year’s event – is just one in a series of meals that will be eaten in unusual locations in the run up to the big day, with the Royal Yacht Britannia also taking part.

City lawyer and 500 Miles boss Olivia Giles, below, the brainchild behind the campaign, said the aim was to get people excited to encourage them to take part next year.

She said: “It’s a completely new idea – it’s really not been done before at all. I wanted to think of something that everybody could join in a meaningful way, that wouldn’t stretch their pockets. It’s completely inclusive and anything goes.”

Olivia was moved to launch the charity drive after a visit to Africa brought home the need to help poverty-stricken amputees get the medical aids they needed to walk again.

The 48-year-old is a quadruple amputee herself, after catching meningococcal septicaemia 12 years ago. Surgeons were forced to amputate her hands and lower legs in order to save her life.

Transport convener Lesley Hinds praised Olivia’s idea and admitted the offer to take part was one she simply couldn’t refuse.

She said: “I’m really pleased to get involved with the Big Dinner. I’ve worked with Olivia before – and anyone who knows her knows you just don’t say no to her.

“I’m pleased that Edinburgh Trams are getting involved in this event, and I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved.”

Guest chef Sandy Crombie, of Crombies of Edinburgh, said: “It’s a pleasure to get involved.”