Former soap stars Adam and Ryan Thomas have joined Heineken’s mission to combat loneliness, which is now in its third year.

At a time when nine million people in the UK say they experience loneliness, Brewing Good Cheer will bring together nearly 2,000 lonely or socially isolated people to network and make new friends over a festive lunch in their local pub.

Ryan Adam Thomas HeinekenStar Pubs & Bars’ managed estate of pubs is also joining the campaign this year, increasing the number of lunches being held to 100, and serving a three-course Christmas meal with food donated by food wholesalers, Brakes.

As well as charities local to individual pubs, Heineken has partnered with national organisations, such as Age UK and the Royal Voluntary Service, who put on events such as art, drama and music, in order to combat loneliness and encourage people, of all ages and backgrounds, to come together.

The brothers joined local charity Chatterbox and AXM Foundation at a Christmas lunch hosted by The Windmill pub in Manchester.

Former Coronation Street star Ryan Thomas said: “I remember coming out of Celebrity Big Brother and meeting all my family in the pub. It was an important time for me — and it was great to be surrounded by so many people who love and care for you.”

“I’ve felt the same warmth in the Rover’s Return, where the pub is the heartbeat of not only the show, but the wider community, and is a hub of people meeting friends and family, talking through problems to celebrating — there’s no place like it!”

 

Tackling social isolation

 

Adam Thomas added: “There’s no secret that every soap is based around its pub, from the Rover ‘s Return to the Queen Vic, or the best of them all: the Woolpack. So I’m thrilled to be working on Heineken’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign and helping to tackle social isolation by inviting people to festive lunches around in the UK.”

David Paterson, corporate affairs director for Heineken, said: “There really is no place like the Great British pub — it’s the place where relationships start, friendships are cemented, and memories made.

“We believe pubs are at the heart of communities and we’re proud to be working once again with so many pub landlords up and down the country who want to make a positive difference not just during the Christmas period, but all year round.

“We hope through Brewing Good Cheer we’re able to continue raising awareness of the issue of social isolation and inspires more people and publicans, to get involved and brew some good cheer this Christmas!”

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