The Chandos Arms in Colindale – joined forces with its local Age UK – Age UK Barnet – to treat senior citizens from across the borough to a Christmas lunch. The area is identified as having a high risk of loneliness amongst older people* and the event was part of Heineken’s Brewing Good Cheer Campaign, which encourages pubs around the UK to bring those in socially isolated situations together by hosting free lunches.
Sixteen over 65s who use Age UK Barnet’s services joined licensees Emily and Are Koltveit – former winners of the GBPA Community Pub of the Year – for a Christmas extravaganza including a traditional three-course dinner with all the trimmings.
Says Age UK Barnet Chief Executive Helen Newman.
“Programmes that keep senior citizens active and connected to the community are essential and demand for our services is growing. The festive lunch at the Chandos Arms was a wonderful chance for some of our older clients to get out and enjoy companionship over a delicious meal. It’s the kind of event that we need more of – especially at Christmas, when being on your own is harder – but that requires the support of initiatives like Brewing Good Cheer.”
A former church administrator, Emily took over the Chandos Arms with Are in 2014, turning it from a trouble spot into a much-needed community hub and the winner of the GBPA Community Pub of the Year 2017. Explains Emily, who is now training to become a priest as well as publican; “We believe a community local is like a church in many ways; it plays a pastoral role as a place where people of all ages and backgrounds feel comfortable coming on their own, knowing they’ll get a warm welcome and good chat in a safe environment. It’s what we set out to achieve at the Chandos and we have plenty of older customers, whose children have often been forced out of the area by high property prices, who really value the pub as a friendly meeting place and a home from home.
“Christmas is a time for coming together and it was privilege to host a festive lunch with Age UK Barnet, who do such fantastic and vital work in our borough.”