Community pubs helping to tackle loneliness and isolation over the festive season

Community owned pubs are spreading Christmas cheer across the UK by hosting events aimed at alleviating isolation and loneliness and offering a safe haven for those who need it.

Across the country communities which have united to save their local pubs from closure are increasingly showing the benefits of owning and running it themselves, says national charity the Plunkett Foundation.

Community pubs have been hosting lunches, choir concerts and donating food to the homeless during the month of December.

There are now well over one hundred community pubs trading across the UK. The charity says that many have been laying on events specifically designed to help people who – for whatever reason – find themselves alone or in need during the festive season.

Hannah Barrett, Senior Project Manager at Plunkett, said that as the number of community pubs grows so too do the opportunities to tackle loneliness.

She added: “Every Christmas community pubs show they have a great heart and sense of responsibility to the people living in the surrounding area. Whether that is a rural area or an urban one. Loneliness and isolation exists throughout our society but community pubs can help fight these problems. They really go out of their way this time of year.”

The increasing community spirit of community pubs comes against a backdrop of well publicised challenges for the pub sector – in both urban and rural areas. Figures from the Campaign for Real Ale showed that 14 pubs are closing their doors each week.

Meanwhile, community pubs have a 100% long-term success rate according to Plunkett.

Plunkett offers free advice and support to help communities take on their pubs. By the end of 2018 there were nearly 100 community pubs trading across the UK – with 11 opening in the previous year alone. The Plunkett Foundation www.plunkett.co.uk

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England. Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector has an income of £890m, and comprises 9,000 community businesses across England who employ 33,600 people. (Source: The Community Business Market in 2019). Power to Change www.powertochange.org.uk

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