Veterans’ look forward to Christmas dinner thanks to Maray

Independent restaurant chain, Maray has donated all the ingredients to make this year’s Christmas special for the veteran residents living at Launchpad’s Speke House.

The Liverpool chain, which has three restaurants in the city at Albert Dock, Bold Street and Allerton Road, reached out to suppliers to ask for contributions of food to be delivered to the house, which is home to 48 veterans.

Lakes Speciality Foods in the Lake District has donated turkey’s while Noone & Son have donated all the veg and trimmings to ensure those present benefit from a delicious, cooked meal on Christmas Day.

In total, the charity has received three turkeys, two sacks of potatoes, a sack of carrots, sack of sprouts and a sack of onions and parsnips.

The donation has been organised by Owen Hagan, Head of Food Development at Maray Restaurant Chain who reached out to his contacts after taking a call from Natalie Scully, Assistant Manager (Projects) at Speke House.

Owen said:

“This year will be particularly tough for a lot of people, not to mention charities. Some of the smaller charities have had all their income from personal donations and fundraising wiped out this year due to the Covid-19 and we’ve noticed that it is the smaller charities that may miss out.

“We already have a working relationship with Launchpad to support their veterans and when Natalie reached out to me, I knew we had to try and help and do something. I hope they will be able to relax and enjoy their meal.”

The meal will be cooked by the residents themselves and Natalie will also be on hand to ensure everyone gets a hearty meal. She said:

“I am so grateful to Owen and all their suppliers for making this happen. I was really worried that the residents would not be able to enjoy Christmas without having a nice warm cooked meal. If this hadn’t been made possible, some of the residents wouldn’t have even bothered to cook anything so I am pleased that all the residents will be able to enjoy this and will be fed and watered properly.”

Launchpad’s Speke House is the city’s largest veterans’ accommodation in Liverpool and provides safe, secure accommodation and other essential support to 48 veterans to help them make a successful transition to civilian life.

Since it was founded in 2013, Launchpad, which also has Avondale House in Newcastle upon Tyne, has supported almost 500 homeless veterans.

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