On Radio Woking recently, I spoke with an admin for a Facebook group called Wetherspoons Game and Giveaway. I had seen this group and was interested to find out more.

The idea is members go into a JD Wetherspoon pub, post a selfie of themselves and their friends and a bit about why they are in the pub, together  with their pub name and table number. 

Other members of the group then buy drinks via the Wetherspoon app. And then the recipients buy drinks for other people. 

It is incredibly well moderated to make sure people are not leaving the pub drunk or end up with 20 portions of peas. 

If anybody has children with them, they will not be allowed to be sent alcohol. 

This is a group that has seen a surge in members recently and I was intrigued to see if it worked.

So after a trip to the theatre, my friend and colleague Matt and I decided to try it out at our local Spoons – The Herbert Wells.

The experience started in a traditional way as we found  we were sitting behind a friend of mine who ended up buying our first drink – a pint of Pepsi each.

As we enjoyed our soft drinks I got onto the app and posted a picture of Matt and I and explained this was a post-theatre drink and we were at table 41 of The Herbert Wells in Woking.

Pretty soon we were seeing comments saying that drinks were on their way and a reminder to post a photo of what we received. 

Over the course of the next half-hour or so we received a few drinks from somebody in Bristol and somebody in  Dundee. 

To keep things fair we are advised that after a couple of gifts, comments get turned off and no more drinks can be gifted.

Also we are encouraged to remove our table number if it all gets too much. We did this because we wanted to keep it responsible.

I then purchased a drink for the person in Dundee – an interesting  concept of me sitting in Woking buying a drink for somebody so far away.

This is taking the concept of buying a friend a drink onto a much wider platform.

And who knows? Maybe you can make new online friends and connections through this over time. 

It has a real community feel about it and it is really interesting scrolling through to see the reasons why people are in the pub at that time.

The group does good, too.

Admin Matt Cox explained to me how he goes to his local pub and asks members to send him sealed products such as nuts and crips. 

These are then given to the homeless community in his local area. 

Search Facebook for Wetherspoons Game and Giveaway – and if you want to hear my conversation with Matt from the group, check out my podcast page at https://jonandrews01.podbean.com

* You can listen to The Sunny Sessions, the inclusive radio show from The Sunnybank Trust, on Surrey Hills Community Radio at 11am on Mondays and Thursdays, and at 9pm on the first Monday of each month. 

The show is also on Radio Woking at 9am on Wednesdays. 

You can also hear me on the Radio Woking breakfast show on Wednesdays (7am to 9am) and Sundays (9am to noon).

To get in touch, please email me at [email protected]