Brakspear Raises Over £20,000 For Sue Ryder

BrakespearRichard Edwards (right), licensee at the Potters Arms, presents a cheque to Benjamin Bar-Lev of Sue Ryder

Henley pub operator and brewer Brakspear has raised more than £20,000 for the Sue Ryder charity, thanks to enthusiastic and determined fundraising by its pub and head office teams.

Sue Ryder provides hospice and neurological care for people facing a frightening, life-changing diagnosis. It aims to be a safety net for patients and their loved ones at the most difficult time of their lives. Sue Ryder treats more conditions than any other UK charity in its hospices, neurological care centres and out in the community, as well as campaigning to improve the lives of people living with them.

Sue Ryder is Brakspear’s first ever estate-wide charity partner and they have set a target of £50,000 in total. Pubs have been raising money for the last nine months through a variety of ways, from organising live music nights or other events, completing sponsored challenges or adding a voluntary donation to menu items.

Brakspear has also launched a beer – called Incredible after the incredible work done by Sue Ryder – and are donating 10p to the charity for every pint sold in its pubs.

While many pubs, especially those in Brakspear’s heartland around Henley, have supported Sue Ryder, a few have ‘gone the extra mile’ and collected serious sums for the charity. These include:

  • The Hare & Hounds at Sonning Common near Reading is top of the fundraising league with an impressive £2,863 collected from regular events such as a meat draw and pub quiz, as well as ‘one offs’ including a ‘play your vinyl’ session where customers payed to play their favourite singles on a borrowed record player.
  • The Potters Arms near Amersham raised £1,200 from its first Comedy Festival, held over three days in May.
  • Celebrity quizmaster and local resident Jeremy Paxman gave a pub quiz at The Five Horseshoes in Maidensgrove a boost, helping it to raise £2,217 from the event.
  • Kate Thomas, marketing assistant at the Brakspear head office in Henley, completed her first London Marathon in April, raising £3,200.

Brakspear chief executive Tom Davies said,

“It’s great to pass the £20,000 mark and I’m grateful to the many licensees and their teams who have supported our charity partnership. Watching the total amount creep up, and seeing the many different fundraising ideas generated by our tenants, has been a delight and we’re now looking forward to continuing the good work and hitting our target of £50,000.”

Sue Ryder Hospice Director Stewart Marks comments: “Working with this renowned brewery is proving to be very successful and we are extremely grateful for their support, enthusiasm and creativity to reach this milestone. The money Brakspear have raised is vital to the services we provide here in the local community; £20,000 will provide 40 days of care for any one of our inpatients at Duchess of Kent or Nettlebed Hospices.”

Claire Suggs, who runs the Hare & Hounds with husband Mick, said, “We couldn’t have raised this money without the support of our regulars, who have been fantastic.

“For example, one of our regulars, Harriet, completed the Reading Half Marathon earlier this year for Sue Ryder, which added another £400+ to the pot. And one of our darts team had a fines system during the year which added up to £120, so that also went in.Whatever we do now, we think about how we might raise money and people are always generous.  So many people locally have been touched by Sue Ryder – including myself and Mick who have both had family or friends helped by them – that it’s a charity everyone is happy to get behind.”

At the Potters Arms, licensee Richard Edwards added, “Organising our first comedy festival was quite a task: three days, 20 comedians performing including Lee Hurst and Zoe Lyons as headliners. We’re delighted with how it went and pleased to be able to give more than £1,200 to Sue Ryder.”