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It’s ok to feel lonely, particularly at a time like this. Don’t suffer in silence, we can all help each other stay connected.

Bringing cheer: Publicans helping to alleviate loneliness in their communities

Pubs, and the people who run them, have always been at the heart of communities, both urban and rural, creating places for sociability and companionship. However, we recognise there are still many lonely people in the UK, lacking the connections in life that matter to us all as human beings.

Inspired by HRH the Prince of Wales and established as a not-for-profit pub services organisation in 2001, Pub is The Hub offers independent specialist advice and support on rural services diversification or community involvement in pubs, through a network of experienced regional advisors. This helps inspire publicans to provide local services and amenities that are essential to the survival of viable rural communities. These services help strengthen community infrastructure, create employment opportunities and connect people.

Pub is The Hub’s campaign to tackle loneliness

Building on its community services work, in 2019 Pub is The Hub conceived its ‘Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’ campaign. ‘Join Inn’, specifically looks to support publicans and their communities to become better connected, helping local people feel less isolated and, in the process, giving them a sense of belonging and improved wellbeing. The campaign’s purpose is to:

  • raise awareness of increasing societal loneliness within the UK,
  • engage licensees and their teams about the causes of loneliness and how they can help alleviate it,
  • help build sustainable partnerships with others engaged in the loneliness debate.

Connecting through crafting

At the Shrewsbury Arms in Kingstone, Staffordshire, a workshop space for crafts and hobbies has been created as a home for local crafters, with the future aim of setting up a Men’s Shed group to help combat loneliness and isolation.

Its craft shed was built as before the Covid-19 pandemic the pub had become really busy with a ‘crafty coffee morning’, with local people coming along to share their hobbies or just for a chat and some company. Many new friendships were formed because of the project.

Shrewsbury Pub garden

Café created as social hub

The Thorold pub in Marston, Lincolnshire, added a community café to the pub to help attract non-pub goers and provide a daytime social hub for clubs to host meetings and for local people who were feeling lonely or isolated to come and have a chat with others.

Pub cafe

Pub is hub of social activities

At The Dog Inn at Belthorn, Lancashire, the pub has diversified to offer a range of different services and activities to help open the pub up to a broader section of local residents and encourage them along to meet others. It has community meeting rooms hosting a range of groups and activities, as well as a coffee shop and community garden, which brings together allotment enthusiasts.

To find out more about the ‘Join Inn’ campaign visit Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness – Pub is The Hub