Publicans are being invited to help raise awareness of a new seasonal campaign, encouraging their customers to help tackle loneliness in their area, by taking someone as a ‘Plus One’ to the pub in December.
Christmas Plus One is being organised by the Together Coalition, as a way to build kinder, closer, more connected communities by bringing people together and bridging divides. This Christmas they are giving all members of the UK public a ‘PlusOne’ www.together.org.uk/christmasplusone, inviting them to take their Christmas cheer one step further and involve someone new in their festive plans.
The initiative is being supported by Pub is The Hub, who run Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’, Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness – Pub is The Hub, a campaign which supports publicans to help tackle loneliness in their local area, and Heineken UK, who are getting involved in Christmas Plus One through its annual Brewing Good Cheer campaign.
Join in Christmas Plus One Day
Publicans are also being encouraged to take part with an event or activity on a national Christmas Plus One Day on Tuesday, 14 December, when people across the country will come together around this national day to help spread some festive joy. Alongside this pub customers, charities, community groups and volunteers are being asked to do small acts of kindness throughout December and take someone along as a ‘Plus One’ to their pub for a chat, a drink, some food or community event.
Resources to help publicans getting involved
Publicans can find Christmas Plus One resources, including a guide with information and ideas on getting involved, a poster to highlight the campaign to their customers and social media tools here: Christmas Plus One – Pub is The Hub
Deborah Kemp, ambassador for loneliness for the ‘Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’ campaign, said: “By encouraging customers to bring a ‘Plus One’ along to the pub in December publicans can not only make a difference to someone’s day, but potentially make their pub accessible to a whole new audience, community group or local volunteers.”
Simple actions can make a big difference
Kemp adds: “We appreciate Christmas is already a busyand challenging time for publicans, but there are many simple ways to join in and make a difference with Christmas Plus One. This new initiative is all about connecting people and their communities at a time of celebration and goodwill – a time of year when so many might feel that no one cares.”
Research in Together’s Talk/Together* report highlights that 73% of people say they would like society to be closer and more connected in the future.
Heineken UK pubs and staff joining in and Brewing Good Cheer
HEINEKEN UK’s pub business Star Pubs & Bars are among those already getting involved in the campaign, including its 140 Just Add Talent managed operator pubs who will be hosting events throughout December.
As with previous years HEINEKEN will also be offering all their 2,300 employees the opportunity to volunteer in Christmas Plus One through their Brewing Good Cheer campaign.
Easy to get involved
Kim FitzGibbon, licensee at Star Pubs & Bars’ pub The Drill in Romford, Essex, said: “I am looking forward to bringing some festive joy to customers this year, especially after missing out last Christmas. The Christmas Plus One campaign is a great way to remind people to think about those who would love to have more social interaction with others and may feel socially isolated.”
She adds: “We will be highlighting the campaign and hope that customers will act on it and bring someone with them to the pub to enjoy a pint or meal. We can all do our bit and it’s not a big ask, so I do hope other pubs get involved too.”
‘Pubs play vital role in combating social isolation’
Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “We are delighted to be getting behind the Christmas Plus One campaign as pubs play a vital role in helping combat social isolation in their communities. It is an issue HEINEKEN feels passionately about and is the focus of our Brewing Good Cheer campaign which has been in place since 2017.”
He adds: “All of our 140 managed operator Just Add Talent pubs will be offering a free meal or drinks this year, building on the support many of our pubs have provided to communities throughout the pandemic, and continue to do on an ongoing basis.”