Good homes for 340 Christmas lunches!

19 December 2021

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 hotel Managing Director Matthew Milliken because that
would have just heaped even more unfair pressure on local suppliers. So the hotel contacted their friends at the Guildford Lions for their help, and as usual, we were only too happy to point them in the direction
of a couple of fabulous organisations.

Thanks to Lion Barry Jutsum more than 340 individually prepared turkey
breasts will be delivered to The Park Barn Centre and the Jacob’s Well HQ of Matt Gaskin, owner of
computer firm Unigold 2000, the man responsible for feeding hundreds of vulnerable, lonely and
homeless people across the area every year on Christmas Day.

The Park Barn centre is operated by Guildford Borough Council, and as Jo Packman, community
engagement advisor with the GBC Wellbeing Team explained, they too will be providing some extra
Christmas cheer once again this year.

‘We provide support all year round, but of course Christmas is a special time for everyone in the
team, we are really grateful to the Lions for all their help, and to Matthew at The Mandolay for his
generous contribution. I am sure the turkey will go down very well.

Matt Gaskin 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. ‘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, we expect to
have 20 drivers out on Christmas day, delivering lunch to more than 300 people.’

For more information about Matt’s service, please visit http://www.freechristmaslunch.com

Happy Christmas everyone!