“When got to the point of having 22 at our home one year, my wife suggested hiring the village hall…”.Matt Gaskin of Jacobs Well with wife Marta and daughter Mia. They are offering Christmas lunches to 200 homeless and elderly people. A Guildford man is offering free lunches for 200 of the town’s students, elderly, homeless and lonely population on Christmas Day. Matt Gaskin started inviting the elderly round to his family home six years ago to join in with his family’s festivities.
It was initially designed to provide company for those who, without Mr Gaskin’s family, would otherwise spend Christmas Day by themselves. However, while his Christmas guest list grew, the dining room table in his semi-detached house did not and before he knew it he was catering for 22.
He said that his family, who live in Jacobs Well , had a long-running tradition whereby they kept a spare seat at the table for someone who had passed away. Mr Gaskin added: “My 10-year-old daughter was always curious why we have a spare space and food, so we asked if anyone on their own wanted to dine at ours.“When we got to the point of having 22 at our home one year, my wife suggested hiring the village hall and we had several hundred attend.
“There are lots of foreign students from Japan and China who do not go home at Christmas. It’s nice for them to meet the elderly and they strike up friendships.”Mr Gaskin said he does the cooking and all food and gifts are donated by local businesses. Music and entertainment is supplied for free from Mack Entertainment. He admits it is difficult to unwind or relax as he used to on December 25, but says because his wife is Polish, his family now celebrate the night before, as is traditional in Poland. He said: “It is strange doing it (that way round), but it’s so nice seeing the faces of happy people and see hear their stories, and a lot will be back this year.”
There will be an off-duty policeman and nurse volunteering as like last year, who monitor the condition and safety of guests. The event is being held at St Joseph’s Catholic Church. Mr Gaskin is asking for volunteers to spare an hour of their day on to pick up and drop off those dining at his party.
Thanks to Get Surrey for the post:- https://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/guildford-family-offer-free-christmas-17255071