Despite the enforced coronavirus shut down pubs are still helping their communities

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

23 March 2020

‘Pubs have survived for hundreds of years by adapting to the changing world around them’, said Pub Aid co-founder Des O’Flanagan

Pub Aid, the group dedicated to promoting and supporting the good that pubs do in their own communities, has highlighted the work a number of pubs are doing for local people, despite the loss of income due to the shutdown.

It’s not just offering takeaway food and drink, pubs are setting up village shops, loneliness helplines, and remote pub quizzes to offer people some of the social and emotional benefits they gain from a visit to the pub.

Initiatives include:

  • The Chequers in Aylesford, Kent, is delivering free hot lunches and dinners to anyone over the age of 70 within the village or nearby. 
  • The Fleece Inn, Brereton near Evesham is running a ‘loneliness buster’ helpline, as well as offering local meal deliveries.
  • The Polgooth Inn in St Austell ran its regular Pub Quiz on 17 March on Facebook Live.
  • The Heritage in Slaugham, West Sussex, is looking to set up a village shop, to help local residents avoid trips to supermarkets and give local food and drink suppliers a new outlet.
  • Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, North Yorkshire, is baking fresh bread, pies and cakes daily, selling them from a stall outside the pub as well as delivering orders to local residents unable to get out.    
  • The Pickled Ploughman in Adderbury, Oxfordshire, is delivering free hot meals to local vulnerable people and to others who are self-isolating on a BOGOF deal. It also has a stall outside the pub selling fresh fruit and veg, dairy and dried goods.
  • The Loyal Tavern is Bermondsey, south London, will also be donating grocery boxes to the elderly.
  • The Tap & Run in Upper Broughton, Melton Mowbray is opening a village shop to sell groceries and pre-prepared meals to cook at home. A delivery service will be free to over 70s and NHS workers.

The government shut down of the nation's bars, pubs, restaurants and cafés could cost charities and grassroots sports an estimated £35m in funds raised by pubs, according to Pub Aid.

‘Clearly, traditional fundraising through events in pubs will have to stop in line with government advice to avoid social contact,’ Pub Aid co-founder Des O’Flanagan said.

‘With pubs raising £100m a year for charities and £40m to grassroots sports, a three-month lockdown will equate to a £35m shortfall.

‘Despite the catastrophic consequences of the pandemic for pubs, many have responded by doing all they can to support customers and local residents and remain a hub for their community in this time of need. Pubs have survived for hundreds of years by adapting to the changing world around them, and the speed with which so many have changed their business practices in the face of the Covid-19 lockdown is impressive.’

If your bar or pub is involved in any local community initiatives during the coronavirus crisis, please do let us know  by dropping an email to


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