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Publican returns to NHS front line during Covid-19 shutdown

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

NHS return: Sylvia Ferron (left) says she has ‘been blessed to be able to continue my nursing work with the NHS’
NHS return: Sylvia Ferron (left) says she has ‘been blessed to be able to continue my nursing work with the NHS’

Related tags: Admiral, Alcoholic beverage, Public house

A Birmingham publican has returned to full-time work on the NHS front line during the Covid-19 emergency just months after entering the on-trade.

In December 2019, Sylvia Ferron became the licensee of the Foaming Tankard, in Nechells, Birmingham, after the Admiral Taverns site reopened following a £50,000 joint investment.

However, while Ferron initially stepped back from a full-time role as a nurse in her local community to split her time between the pub and the NHS, she has returned to the front line, full-time, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson called for Britain’s pubs to close their doors on Friday 20 March. 

Ferron told The Morning Advertiser (MA)​: “Currently the pub, unfortunately, remains closed. However, I have been blessed to be able to continue my nursing work with the NHS, which has been challenging as you can imagine during this time.”

After joining the 500,000 NHS England staff on the Covid-19 front line, Ferron added that workers at the Foaming Tankard have also played their part in serving their community during the on-trade shut down.

“I have been so impressed with my bar staff who have continued to help and support our locals by cooking, shopping for them and reaching out to them with regular phone calls,” she continued. 

“We have tried to do our best in such an awful situation but stay positive and look forward to when it all comes to an end so we can go back to our normal lives.” 

Passionate about providing care

Discussing the relaunch of the Foaming Tankard in December – which boasts Caribbean cues and a British and Jamaican fusion menu – Ferron said the on-trade offered her a new way to give back to her community. 

“I want the Foaming Tankard to be a special place for people of all ages to come relax and enjoy themselves in a warm and inviting setting,” she explained. 

“Being a nurse, I am passionate at providing care to my patients. With the support of my pub staff, we will be able to extend this and provide care to a wealth of people in the community.”

As reported by MA​, a number of operators have stepped up since the pub shutdown on 20 March in support of the NHS.

Furloughed Stonegate Pub Company general manager Cee-Jay Williams​ is using a 3D printer to help the NHS tackle a shortfall of 80,000 plastic visor clips, for example.

What’s more, staff at London’s Kings College Hospital paid tribute to publican Eduardo Dantas of Tia Maria Bar & Restaurant in Vauxhall, south London, who has been feeding front-line staff up to 60 free meals per day​ during the ongoing pandemic.

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