Fringe Box



Hotel’s Spare Food Donated To Extremely Good Causes

Published on: 29 Dec, 2021
Updated on: 29 Dec, 2021

By Ian Blyth, C&H Marketing

Like many hospitality venues, The Mandolay Hotel in Guildford town centre has been beset by cancellations for Christmas parties and events thanks to people’s understandable concerns about Covid.

So, what to do with all the food that had been ordered from hotel suppliers?

Cancelling contracts was not an option for the hotel’s managing director Matthew Milliken because that would have just heaped even more unfair pressure on local suppliers.

He said: “We decided to ask our friends at Guildford Lions for their help, and as usual, they were only too happy to point us in the direction of a couple of fabulous organisations.”

Thanks to Barry Jutsum of the Guildford Lions Club, in the week before Christmas more than 340 individually prepared turkey breasts were delivered to Guildford Borough Council’s community wellbeing team at The Hive in Park Barn to distribute to less advantaged families, and to the Jacob’s Well HQ of Matt Gaskin, owner of computer firm Unigold 2000.

Guildford Borough Council’s lead councillor for community, Julia McShane, said: “Our brilliant team support our borough’s vulnerable families throughout the year and we’re really grateful to the Lions for all of their help, and to Matthew at The Mandolay for his generous contribution.”

Meanwhile, Matt Gaskin is the man responsible for feeding hundreds of vulnerable, lonely and homeless people across the area every year on Christmas Day. Click here for the Gaskins’ family free Christmas lunch website.

Matt is something of a local celebrity with his Christmas giving, appearing on TV and radio to help raise awareness of the annual drive to provide meals, gifts and company to people in and around Guildford and Woking.

Last week he said: “We usually host a Christmas lunch at a venue in Guildford, but last year and this, because of Covid, we are delivering the meals to houses and homeless shelters.”

The Gaskins’ website now states: “Thank you to all the volunteers, drivers, sponsors and helpers on the day. We managed to cook and deliver 270 meals to vulnerable, lonely or just in need of a good home cooked meal.”

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