Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness, inspired by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness campaign, will help pub owners, operators, local authorities and rural community bodies review the role pubs play in providing social spaces.
What’s more, the Heineken-backed initiative will fund a part-time advisory ambassador for loneliness role to share ideas from individual pub schemes to different regions and communities.
Through its Community Services Fund, Pub is The Hub has provided micro grants to pubs since 2013 to restore services and social activities to rural communities or to deliver new amenities.
These have included projects to provide shops, cafés, post offices, digital hubs, libraries, community playgrounds and cinemas in rural locations.
“One of the main benefits we have discovered through our projects with rural pubs is the enormous boost to wellbeing that they provide to isolated or vulnerable people in communities,” John Longden, chief executive for Pub is The Hub explained.
“We are very grateful to Heineken UK for supporting us to scale up and help to share our ideas with many more communities.”
As recently reported by The Morning Advertiser, community pubs have bucked national trends of pub closures and are booming, according to the Plunkett Foundation’s A Better Form of Business report, which found they have a 100% survival rate.
Kick-start community activity
The launch of Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness comes four years after the launch of Heineken UK’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign that encourages pubs to host events for potentially isolated rural residents who may not otherwise get a regular opportunity to visit their local.
Last year, 100 pubs took part in the beer maker’s campaign, hosting lunches for more than 2,000 people with support from Heineken volunteers.
“Pubs are so often the heart of communities and can play a vital role in helping to tackle social isolation,” David Forde, Heineken UK’s managing director explained.
“With 2,700 pubs across the UK, we understand their importance in bringing people together, it’s something we’ve campaigned passionately about for the past four years through our Brewing Good Cheer campaign.
“We’re thrilled to build on our long-term support for Pub is The Hub. Our partnership will kick-start community activities and shine a light on how communities come together in, and often rely on, the great British pub.”
A cross-generational issue
According to recent YouGov research, nearly one in five Britons (18%) aged over 55 say they haven’t made a new friend in the past six years with 70% of the age group claiming they can be lonely to some extent in a follow-up survey.
However, young Britons are most likely to experience greater levels of loneliness according to YouGov, with close to nine in 10 (88%) of those aged between 18 and 24 claiming they experience loneliness to some degree – with a quarter (24%) suffering often and 7% saying they are lonely all of the time.
By comparison, while 88% of 25 to 34-year-olds claim to experience some degree of loneliness, some 26% qualify that such feelings are rare. What’s more, only 7% of over-55s say they’re lonely often with just 2% claiming they are lonely all the time.