• LIVE: Positives – GBPA winner makes music video reminding children to wash their hands

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Happy place: pubs have been helping their regulars amid the coronavirus outbreak
Happy place: pubs have been helping their regulars amid the coronavirus outbreak

Related tags: Coronavirus

With the news that pubs have been ordered to close by the Government during the Covid-19 pandemic and people must stay at home, many in the on-trade still want to do what they can for their customers and communities. Here, we show you what operators are up to.

30 March, 12.17 - GBPA 'best local' winner reminds children to wash their hands

One of the licensees behind the ‘best local’ at the 2019 Great British Pub Awards​ has released a music video reminding children to wash their hands during the coronavirus outbreak.


Emily Kolltveit, who runs the Chandos Arms in Colindale, north London, with husband Are, has used the award-winning pub as a backdrop for Wash Your Hands Song​ by The Corona Detectives, published on YouTube channel ‘The World According to Saxon’. 

Uploaded on 27 March, the music video reminds local children “before you make any plans, wash your hands”, and includes advice on social distancing and daily exercise. 

Winners of the best community pub prize at the 2017 Great British Pub Awards​, the licensees at the Chandos Arms also helped local school music group The Worship Warriors – formed by Emily Kolltveit – release a revamped rendition​ of well-known hymn How Great Thou Art​ in July 2019.

Watch the video in full here​.

25 March, 12.08 – Drinks sector lends a hand to NHS

Drinks suppliers have continued to help organisations in need by producing hand sanitiser.

Spirits giant Diageo said it would help produce 8m bottles of hand sanitiser for front-line workers across the globe, by donating up to 2m litres of alcohol to manufacturing partners.

Suffolk brewer Adnams has also supplied alcohol and its facilities to the University of East Anglia (UEA) to produce sanitiser for the NHS and social care workers.

25 March, 9.31 – Mental health check-in

The Morning Advertiser​ has collated a list of mental health charities​ that are able to offer sector-specific and general advice to licensees who are finding the uncertainty of the outbreak difficult.

A free live content stream has also been created by Think Hospitality and Flow Hospitality in order to keep hospitality workers connected and unskilled during isolation. It is called HospoLive​.

24 March, 14.58 – Mind the gig

A pub regular from Cambridge has started a campaign for those working from home to donate their commute cost to a pub or music venue. 

Matt Deacon said he was donating to the Portland Arms and explained: “The money we’re saving by not commuting every day can help keep your local arts scene alive until their situation is stable.”

24 March, 14.20 – Good deed

London pub operator Fugitive Motel handed out surplus kitchen produce at the weekend following the closure of its Bethnal Green site in east London. 

Staff from the pub took food to the Royal London hospital and gave it to NHS workers. 

Co-founder Liam Tolan said: “We’ve taken the easy decision to give away our kitchen produce in food boxes following the shutdown. We wanted to give something back to the community and local NHS workers at the Royal London, after we received so much support from them in our first nine months’ trading.”

It ran a food donation station at its premises this weekend with the containers comprising of perishable items, used in the site’s brunch and sourdough pizza menu, as well as a drop-off at the hospital.

23 March, 10.28 – Duty of care to staff and customers

The founder of an East Anglian pub company has spoken of pubs’ “moral responsibility” to look after those close to them.

Founder of the Chestnut Group Philip Turner says his pubs will continue to help those in need
Founder of the Chestnut Group Philip Turner says his pubs will continue to help those in need

Chestnut Group has launched its plans for its 11 pubs to adapt and provide different services for their communities.

Founder Philip Turner said: “The Government is asking people and businesses to do the right thing – to beat coronavirus. We have a moral responsibility to protect our team, our guests and, ultimately, those in most need of the NHS. With this in mind, we cannot act as a pub or restaurant for the foreseeable future.

“But this is not goodbye from us. We refuse to give up, so we will be adapting our business to ensure that we still remain at the heart of our towns and villages.

“Let’s keep supporting each other and we promise to continue to help our communities to the best of our ability. We all need each other now, more than ever.”

Its pubs will run live Q&As with chefs including online bread-making demonstrations, provide free soup to vulnerable residents, offer takeaway menus and run their own shops.

23 March, 10.01 – There in spirit 

Brewer and pub operator Wadworth has launched a virtual pub, following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Friday that pubs must close.

The pub will run on Facebook
The pub will run on Facebook

It will run on Facebook and feature live music from local musicians, beer tasting, a weekly quiz and Q&As with pub staff, as well as cooking and work-out demonstrations.

The pub is named The Henry after the group’s founder Henry Wadworth.

CEO for Wadworth Chris Welham said: “Pubs are at the heart of everything we do and there has never been a greater need to make sure that, as a community, we come together​ and are there for each other.  

“With the recent call for pubs to close, we wanted to keep pubgoers company, keep the conversations flowing and bring a smile to everyone.

“We don’t want customers to forget what coming together feels like in a pub. All the fun things happening at The Henry will help bring a pub community together in a virtual way.”

20 March, 14.40 - Message from the Mayor of London

The Mayor of London has backed trade bodies calling for more Government support
The Mayor of London has backed trade bodies calling for more Government support

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has urged the Government to offer pubs more financial support as it continues to advice the public to avoid visiting them.

Khan said: “The impact of the coronavirus is going to cause real damage to our economy.

"The Government’s advice to avoid pubs is clear, and, while this is essential, it must provide more support to keep these businesses afloat.

“The traditional London pub has been at the very heart of our communities for hundreds of years, but without more financial support their future is at threat.

“I urge the Government to listen to the calls of the British Beer & Pub Association and go much further in ensuring that the businesses and staff are given the support they need at this difficult time.”

It comes as some national newspapers have published reports suggesting that the capital city could enforce pub closures.

20 March, 13.39 – BT extends payment freeze

BT Sport has said it will further suspend billing for pubs until the end of April, following the cancellation of most international and national sport fixtures.

BT Sport has extended its billing suspension
BT Sport has extended its billing suspension

A spokesperson said: “This is an extremely difficult time for pubs and clubs and their employees.

“In the light of further postponements to live sport, and following on from the suspension of billing previously announced, BT Sport has taken the decision to further suspend billing for our commercial customers until the end of April.”

This follows news from broadcasters Sky and BT Sport​ that both would suspend billing for pubs earlier in the week.

20 March, 10.33 – In it together

Many operators have turned to crowdfunders this week. The Three’s A Crowd gastropub in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, has launched one with donation packages that support the elderly and NHS workers in the area as well as its own survival.

One of its packages is a £25 donation that buys a pubgoer a meal as well as costing the delivery of a fish and chips meal to AGE UK North Yorkshire & Darlington and to Harrogate Neighbours. The charities will ensure warm meals were delivered to the most vulnerable and lonely in the community. 

It also has a £100 package to support the pub and treat healthcare workers, funding a care package for NHS staff. The pub explains: “It’s a three-for-two deal, so for every package purchased we will offer you a three-course meal from our à la carte or lunch menu (Sunday to Friday), including a soft drink or small glass of house wine for two people. 

“On top of this, we will also offer a three-course meal and a drink to a member of the NHS in Yorkshire.”

Harrogate gastropub Three's A Crowd is trying to help its local NHS workers too
Harrogate gastropub Three's A Crowd is trying to help its local NHS workers too

The pub hopes it can raise some of the £20,000 amount it needs a month to keep operational through these packages.

19 March, 14.53 – CAMRA and SIBA launch platform as rallying cry

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has launched an online tool where pubs and breweries can list any new initiatives, such as offering takeaway hot meals or pay-it-forward offers. 

Its #PullingTogether campaign has been launched in conjunction with the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and Crowdfounder.

The crowdfunding site has joined forces with the organisations to help pubs set up crowdfunding pages, through which customers can buy future pints and meals.

19 March, 14.06 – Good will in the air

The Inn Collection Group has offered a couple an alternative honeymoon at one of their pubs after their flights to Spain were cancelled.

Debra, a stock taker at a north-east drinks firm, and Michael, an electrician, got married last Friday (Friday 13 March).

The pub group has offered the newly-weds a complimentary honeymoon at the group’s Ambleside Inn, Ambleside, in the Lake District. 

Managing director Sean Donkin said: “It was the right thing to do, to support people in tough times who had had their dream holiday at one of the most special times of their lives shattered. If we can help each other out – particularly at times like this, that’s a good thing to do.”

The Ambleside Inn has offered Debra and Micheal an alternative honeymoon
The Ambleside Inn has offered Debra and Micheal an alternative honeymoon

19 March, 11.00 – ‘We want to help our friends and customers’

More and more pubs have started offering takeaway and delivery services, from independent sites in villages to pub behemoths like Greene King. 

The Morning Advertiser​ has produced a how-to guide for publicans who would like to do the same.

One pub to help its community has been the Rose & Crown in Snettisham, Norfolk, which has launched a takeaway menu to provide hot meals to the most vulnerable and those needing to self-isolate.

Pub owner Jeannette Goodrich said: “The Rose & Crown has been welcoming customers for good food, drink and company for the past 700 years, and we hope to be able to continue to do so for at least another 100 (though nothing is clear in these uncertain times). But be assured, any potential cutting back of activity at the Rose & Crown will be short and we will be back as soon as possible and better than ever.

“The Rose & Crown sits at the heart of the local community and we want to do as much as we can to help our friends and customers. We have extended our takeaway menu, which can be ordered from by phone or email for collection. For anyone who is housebound or in isolation, please let us know and we will see if we can arrange delivery. We are here for our community.”

The Rose & Crown has offered to deliver hot meals to those who cannot leave the house (image: credit Andrew Waddison @AWPRCO)
The Rose & Crown has offered to deliver hot meals to those who cannot leave the house (image: credit Andrew Waddison @AWPRCO

18 March, 16.27 – drinks suppliers produce hand sanitiser 

Drinks makers across the country have said they will use their facilities to produce hand sanitiser, with many offering their product for free or at a no-profit price.

Supermarkets and shops have faced shortages of hygiene products as people continue to bulk-buy.

The Morning Advertiser​ spoke to the director at one gin distillery about the process of producing sanitiser from ethanol and the team’s reasons for the initiative​.

Brewer and pub company BrewDog was one of the larger companies to say it would do this and said it had started the process at its Scottish distillery.

18 March, 15.39 – Charity pledges to plug sick pay gap

Hospitality employment charity Only A Pavement Away has said it will bridge the gap between statutory sick pay and its SSP and members’ average weekly earnings.

It said it wants to ensure those helped by its charity, the formerly homeless, offenders and veterans, are not forced back into the situations they were in before working in the sector.

Founder Greg Mangham said: “In light of the present situation, it will be almost inevitable that one of our members will have to self-isolate and may only receive a very small amount of sick pay. Or they may be at a venue forced to shut.”

He added: “We are ensuring our members don’t lose the stability they have gained through the opportunities given to them by the hospitality industry employers who we are partnered with.”

Here is more information on how you can help:

18 March, 14.00 – Takeaway services launched across the UK

Pubs are helping their customers with delivery services that provide essential meals to those who cannot leave the house for the shops or otherwise visit the pub for a meal out.

Here's one example, with the Ye Old Sun Inn in Colton, North Yorkshire.

The Government announced last night (Wednesday 17 March) that pubs can operate as takeaways.

This follows The Morning Advertiser​ reporting that a publican in Carlisle started delivering meals​ to her elderly patrons who were staying at home.

Operator Dianne Irving said the initiative would not be for profit, and would simply cover the costs of serving and delivering food from the Howard Arms and the Crown pubs.

11 March – Pubs say they will continue to help isolated elderly 

Pubs said they would try their best to ensure the elderly members of their communities were not left lonely. Organisations such as ‘MeetUpMondays’​ encouraged publicans to keep up to date with Government advice and create ‘telephone trees’ to inform regulars of any cancellations (NB. This was before Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the public to avoid pubs and suggested over-70s should remain indoors for a considerable period of time).

They also outlined plans for what would happen if the Government instructed elderly people to reduce their time in public spaces and made suggestions for how the schemes could continue via phone.

Related topics: Events & Occasions, UnitedWeStand

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