Pub is The Hub has launched Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness to combat loneliness and isolation through services and activities provided by pubs.
The £100,000 two-year pilot programme is being funded by HEINEKEN UK.
The initiative was inspired by the Jo Cox Loneliness Campaign and will help pub owners, operators, local authorities, and rural community organisations to review the pub’s role in helping to provide vital social spaces for local residents.
The campaign will fund a part-time advisory Ambassador for Loneliness role that will seek to spread the best ideas from individual pub schemes to other regions and share their success through collaboration with supporting partners nationwide.
Through its own Community Services Fund, Pub is The Hub has been providing micro-grants to pubs since 2013 to create additional services or activities that have been lost to the community, or where the community has identified a need for something new.
Schemes such as shops, cafés, post offices, digital hubs, libraries, community playgrounds and cinemas, in rural pubs have all brought the added benefits of encouraging local residents to visit the pub — sometimes for the first time — and to meet and make friends.
This announcement builds on four years of Heineken UK’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign, which encourages pubs to host events that bring people together who might not often get the chance to visit their local.
Pub is the Hub chief executive, John Longden, said: “One of the main benefits we have discovered through our projects with rural pubs is the enormous boost to wellbeing that they provide to isolated or vulnerable people in communities. We are very grateful to Heineken UK for supporting us to scale up and help to share our ideas with many more communities.”