Pubs across the country have been supporting nearby NHS hospitals with these funds, in addition to helping hospices and children’s charities close to their customers’ hearts.
The Ram Inn, in Brundall, Norfolk, has raised almost £1,000 by asking punters to leave their rainbow images for the pub to put up in return for a donation to the Norfolk & Norwich Hospitals Charity. The charity focuses on improving patient, visitor and staff welfare at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and Cromer and District Hospital.
Operator Martin Burrekoven-Kalve got the idea to raise money and lift village spirits with rainbow posters after Martha, the five-year-old daughter of a pair of the pub’s regulars, asked if she could paint one for the site’s windows while it was closed.
He explained: “We thought what a good idea to fill our windows with people’s rainbows and set up a JustGiving website so people can contribute to the NNUH coronavirus charity. We now have over 120 rainbows and – including donated and pledged money so far – we have raised £950.”
Some publicans are also taking things offline. One operator has raised more than £1,000 so far by attempting to walk 1m steps for Chestnut Tree House Children's Hospice, at 20,000 steps a day.
John Pendry has been in the pub trade for three decades, since taking over his first site with his late wife in October 1985 and founding Sussex-based Pendry’s Pubs.
His daughter Lorraine told The Morning Advertiser: “He is not only our dad, granddad, great granddad... he is my hero, [for] trying to help those less fortunate.”
Donations can be made through John’s ‘Geezer’s Million Step Challenge’ page on JustGiving.
Many pubs have had to cancel scheduled charity fundraising events – to the extent that the organisation PubAid estimated charities could lose out on £35m – but this didn’t stop one site.
The Rose & Crown in Sandridge, St Albans, Hertfordshire, decided to reorganise its annual Great Big Easter Quiz and host an online version instead.
Publican Jamie West posted information about the quiz on Facebook with just a day to go and, ultimately, managed to raise more than £1,500 for the NHS appeal.
He said: “It’s only small but I love my punters. The quiz was great fun and, within three days, my lovely punters had chucked in over £1,500.”
Another pub to re-plan an event was the Sugar Mill in Bourne, Lincolnshire, which raised £270 for a local children’s charity through a Disney-themed quiz.
The pub asked customers to donate £1 to take part in the quiz to support the charity Little Miracles, which supports children with additional needs.
Licensee Tom Bellis said: “We were delighted with the response, with more players than we expected, and the money raised will support a fantastic charity.”