A community Christmas lunch in Malmesbury is facing a crisis after the sudden withdrawal of their volunteer chef.

Arrangements for the annual HEALS ‎Christmas Community Lunch were rocked earlier this week when the chef's mother died suddenly, with her funeral taking place on the same day.

With the chef now attending the funeral, it has left the community lunch with no chef to bring the event together.

“Things were really going well for our 2018 Christmas Community Lunch at Malmesbury Town Hall on Friday 21st December,” said HEALS chair Gavin Grant.

“Then I got the shocking news that our volunteer chef’s mother had died suddenly, I feel terribly sorry for him.

“Her funeral is on the same day so naturally our volunteer chef has withdrawn.”

This year, the event is set for a record number of 90 guests with a great group of volunteers to help put it all together.

Funding for the lunch was also coming into place.

Gavin continued: “We get great help from a local pubs and cafe who roast the turkeys and steam the puddings.

“Volunteers prepare the vegetables and serve the food. “But I am desperate for an experienced chef‎ to bring this together who is comfortable with organising feeding 90 people on the day.”

Gavin is even preparing himself to run the kitchen if they cannot find a replacement chef.

“The HEALS Christmas lunch is a real highlight of the festive season for so many lonely and vulnerable people,” Gavin added.

“It will go ahead, even if that means me running the kitchen. But for the sake of everyone’s digestion I hope we can find a better solution than that!”

Any chef who may want to help HEALS‎ with their Christmas Lunch should email heals.malmesbury@gmail.com or call 01666 238100.