Oakham pub goes cocktail and cracker crazy this Christmas to help local charity

Chris Watson, general manager of Mill Street Pub & Kitchen in Oakham with Suzanne Johnson, chair of Rutland Food Bank.

Suzanne Johnson, chair of Rutland Foodbank submitted:

The team at Mill Street Pub & Kitchen in Oakham have launched two exciting Christmas campaigns to help raise money for families in need this festive season. 

The pub is running a Christmas cocktail charity campaign, with 25p from every cocktail sold from Friday, 25 November to close on Christmas Eve being donated to Rutland Foodbank, to help buy items for its Christmas hamper campaign.

Rutland Food Bank, which opened in 2013 and supports families in crisis across Rutland who can’t afford to buy basic food essentials, is aiming to provide 160 Christmas hampers this year.

Suzanne Johnson, chair of Rutland Foodbank, which has bases in Oakham and Uppingham, says: “We provide a hamper of Christmas treats to people in Rutland for whom the extras at Christmas are a real struggle.

“It means a lot to us volunteers, and of course to our clients, to know that local businesses such as Mill Street Pub & Kitchen are thinking of us and supporting what we are doing to help local people this Christmas.”

The 25p donation applies to any cocktail on Mill Street Pub & Kitchen’s exciting drinks list, which features 12 delicious cocktails including the Espresso Martini, Toffee Apple, Forest Fusion Martini, Kir Royale, Haig Club Spritz and Jamaican Mule.

Chris Watson, general manager at Mill Street Pub & Kitchen, says: “We are really excited about this cocktail campaign. Our cocktails are extremely popular and so we thought this would be a great way of raising money for Rutland Food Bank’s Christmas campaign and support the amazing work they are doing in our community.”

The pub is also supporting Rutland Food Bank’s Christmas hamper initiative by hosting a Christmas cracker donation station at the venue, which is located in the heart of Oakham in Mill Street.

Rutland Food Bank is aiming to collect 1,300 crackers or 160 boxes for this Christmas and people can drop off their Christmas cracker donations, which can either be single crackers they may have left over from last year or boxes of crackers, at the pub, which has a big collection bin.

Johnson adds: “If people are struggling to put food on the table, then things like crackers, along with the other items we donate are a luxury they can’t afford, but go a long way to making Christmas that little bit more special. Clients were absolutely delighted with the crackers last year, which is why we have decided to collect them again this year.”

People can also drop off non-perishable Christmas food donations for the hampers to the pub too including Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, biscuits and mince pies.

Mill Street’s Chris Watson adds: “Between ourselves and another local business we are aiming to smash Rutland Food Bank’s cracker target, so please donate if you can. We are open seven days a week from early morning to late at night for people to call in with their cracker and food donations.”

Mill Street Pub & Kitchen is open for donation drop offs from 7.30am to 11.30pm Monday to Thursday, 7.30pm to 12 midnight on Friday and Saturdays and 7.30pm to 11pm on Sundays.

 Christmas wreath charity event

The pub is also hosting a Great Christmas Wreath Sale and Christmas drinks on Friday, 9 December to help raise money for local charity ‘For Rutland In Rutland’.

The charity raises money for Citizens Advice Rutland, helping to generate funds for an advisor offering free, confidential and impartial advice to local people affected by cancer, dementia, strokes and other long term health conditions.

The event, in Mill Street’s downstairs Cavern Bar from 5pm until 8pm, includes complimentary mulled wine, mince pies and a range of homemade, natural Christmas wreaths and Christmas gifts on sale.