Publicans Jonathon and Tanya Childs – who run the Garden House in Norwich, Norfolk, under Ei managed arm Craft Union – were initially awarded £1,000 worth of vouchers to spend in BT’s online shop after winning broadcaster BT Sport’s Manager of the Month prize for February.
However, having won the monthly award after the holder of rights to Premier League and Gallagher Premiership action recognised the pair for hosting a weekly food bank at the pub, the publicans decided to use their winnings to boost front-line NHS staff in their area.
With BT’s online retailer offering a broad range of tech products and services, the operators elected to spend their vouchers on televisions for staff to use during down-time as well as mobile tablets for patients to stay in touch with loved ones while receiving hospital treatment.
In light of their decision, BT Sport – which recently revealed it will not be charging pub partners for subscriptions until further notice amid the Covid-19 pandemic – doubled the pair’s prize money to £2,000.
“As a business, we get a lot of nurses and ambulance staff coming to our pub, so although we were blessed and honoured to win the BT Sport Manger of the Month award, we wanted to help the people on the front line in the battle with the virus,” Jonathon Childs explained.
“Our plan is to buy a TV for the Denton Ward at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. It is hoped the TV will help the staff relax while on breaks.
“We are also buying a TV for the ambulance staff, for the same purpose. The rest of the money will be used to buy handheld tablets so patients can keep in contact with family members during the crisis.”
Amid the Covid-19 shutdown, the pair have continued their community service, with Jonathon using the time in lockdown to co-ordinate the delivery of food packages across Norwich.
The pub, located in Norwich’s Golden Triangle, reopened in February 2019 after Ei Group conducted a five-month refurbishment.