Pubcos team up with LTC to combat loneliness

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Feeling isolated: employees from three pubcos can talk to lonely people who have worked in the trade
Feeling isolated: employees from three pubcos can talk to lonely people who have worked in the trade

Related tags: Public house

Leading pubs companies Mitchells & Butlers, Ei Group and Punch have teamed up with the Licensed Trade Charity (LTC) to help tackle loneliness among those who have worked in the trade.

The companies have joined to take part in the charity’s telephone befriending service, which trains employees to become "crucial lifelines" to former pub workers who are feeling isolated.

The training will result in five isolated people who have worked in the drinks trade receiving regular contact and conversation from the new volunteers before Christmas, which "could change their life", said a spokesman for LTC.

One of the new volunteers, Claire Williams, works in the HR department at Mitchells & Butlers and saw the opportunity to become a telephone befriender on the pubco's intranet.

She said: “The opportunity really interested me because I like talking to people and this was a way to do that while giving something back to help others from the trade. The training session was very good and I’m looking forward to providing support to someone, doing something that makes a difference that could enhance their life”.

Willingness to help

LTC volunteer manager Hilary Bone said: “We are delighted that pub companies such as Mitchells & Butlers, Punch and the Ei Group are supporting our work.

"There are no qualifications required to become a telephone befriender so a willingness to help others from the drinks trade, a lively personality and having half an hour free every few weeks is all you need.

"Our feedback is that our befrienders find the experience just as rewarding as those they call.”

Telephone befriending is one of the services that LTC is able to provide to those who have worked in the trade, along with a dedicated helpline providing advice on health, debt and relationships, plus financial support and retraining grants.

In 2016, LTC supported 288 families from pubs, bars and breweries in times of difficulty. Almost 8,000 people made use of the information on its website and more than 600 people gained assistance via the charity’s helpline.

Anyone working in pubs, bars or breweries calling the helpline will be entitled to six free counselling sessions for emotional support.

Related topics: Training

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