Gin-fest at pub raises almost £3,000 for domestic-abuse victims

Jo Nuttall (second from right) with husband Mick Nuttall (far right) and fellow organisers, (from left) Andy Coulson, Ella Coulson and Tim Dubois, at the gin-fest.
Jo Nuttall (second from right) with husband Mick Nuttall (far right) and fellow organisers, (from left) Andy Coulson, Ella Coulson and Tim Dubois, at the gin-fest.

Gin’s new status as the trendiest drink in town helped a group of regulars at a pub in Gainsborough raise almost £3,000 for victims of domestic abuse.

For they staged an eight-hour gin-fest at the Stag’s Head in Knaith Park that drew an “fabulous” response, according to the main organiser, Jo Nuttall.

“When we started, we thought it would be nice to raise about £500,” said Jo, 54, who is a nursery assistant at the Lincolnshire YMCA Beginnings day care centre in Gainsborough. “But the amount of people who turned up was amazing. Some stayed not just for one drink, but quite a few.

“We charged £3 for each gin and tonic, and also raised money from a raffle and a JustGiving page online. The gin-fest ran from about 4 pm until after midnight. The day was exhausting, but it was such good fun, and for such a good cause.”

The idea for the gin-fest came about when Jo and her retired husband, Mick, who is 55, were chatting one night in the Willingham Road pub. Friends Andy and Ella Coulson, and Tim Dubois, agreed to help organise it.

They chose the West Lincolnshire Domestic Abuse Service (WLDAS) as the charity to support because Jo lost a “very special” friend, Katy, to domestic abuse at the age of just 21. “Her life was taken away by someone who was supposed to love her,” she recalled, painfully.

Pub regulars, local residents and businesses donated about 30 bottles of gin for the event, while prizes for the raffle were also generously handed in.

“I want to thank everyone concerned, including Lucinda, the licensee at the Stag’s Head,” said Jo. “When I presented the cheque for £2,931.36 to Vanessa Robson, of the Gainsborough division of WLDAS, she was speechless. She hadn’t realised we’d raised so much.

“The money is to go towards a new refuge for victims. Domestic abuse is a serious problem. Quite a few people at the gin-fest said thanks for bringing it to light.”