How are pubcos celebrating Pride month?

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Love and kindness: Pubcos celebrate Pride month
Love and kindness: Pubcos celebrate Pride month

Related tags Events Social responsibility Multi-site pub operators

The Morning Advertiser (MA) has taken a look at how the nation's pubcos are celebrating Pride month.

Pride month is celebrated around the world annually in June to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, focusing on love, acceptance and equality.

It was first introduced after the Stonewall riots, a series of liberation protests in America in 1969 that changed gay rights for people globally.

The UK’s biggest pubco, Stonegate, has launched its 'Serving with Pride' campaign to coincide with Pride Month, highlighting its commitment to inclusivity by transforming its venues into vibrant hubs of celebration and unity throughout June and beyond.

All Managed Stonegate sites will receive a 'Pride in a Box' kit, packed with window stickers, flags, bunting, badges, garnish flags, posters and menu table talkers to create a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

A permanent 'Serving with Pride' window sticker will also be displayed at all Stonegate venues, symbolising its lasting commitment to inclusivity.

In addition, its venues will offer a range of Pride-themed drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

This year, Stonegate has also partnered with Stonewall Housing, a national charity supporting LGBTQIA+ individuals facing homelessness or unsafe living conditions.

For every sponsored drink sold during the campaign, 10p will be donated to Stonewall Housing, funding their essential services like housing advice, advocacy and specialised support.

Stonegate CEO David McDowall said: "Our mission is to bring people together.

Ongoing commitment 

“We are truly proud to support the LGBTQIA+ community and to be able to bring them together in our venues during Pride and beyond.

“Our month-long ‘Serving with Pride’ campaign reflects our ongoing commitment to inclusivity and our dedication to providing safe, welcoming venues for everyone to enjoy.”

Meanwhile Star Pubs & Bars has invested £7,500 into creating free point-of-sale kits for licensees.

More than 100 packs have been created, all of which include flags, A3 window vinyls and bunting.

In addition, 10 flagship pubs in cities with major Pride festivals, such as Brighton, Edinburgh and Manchester, will also receive café barriers and T- shirts.

One such venue is the Church on Canal Street in Manchester, situated in the heart of the city’s gay village, the pub prides itself on providing a safe space for everyone.

Licensee John Hamilton, a former community worker, trains the team to support customers in need of help or guidance and the pub also raises money every year for LGBTQIA+ charities such as the George House Trust, the LGBT Foundation and Sparkle.

Hamilton said: “The Pride promotional materials are a great way for pubs of all kinds to demonstrate their inclusivity and for licensees to educate their teams on the importance of being welcoming to all.

“Marking Pride isn’t just about customers though. In my experience it can make a real difference to staff, too, giving those in the LGBTQIA+ community who lack confidence the strength to come out and be themselves.”

Furthermore, recent research commissioned by Star revealed around six in 10 people were more likely to visit pubs that are inclusive.

Inclusive spaces 

Star head of retail Cathy Olver said: “Good pubs are all about providing a warm, friendly environment where everyone in the communities they serve feels welcome and at home.

“As more places round the country start holding their own Pride events, licensees are keen to demonstrate their backing and highlight their pub’s inclusiveness.”

Elsewhere, Punch Pubs is supporting its charity partner, Ask for Clive, across its estate.  

Ask For Clive is a charity that works with country-wide venues to promote inclusivity and create safe and welcoming social environments for all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. 

This year marks Punch’s fourth year partnering with Ask for Clive, with more than 100 of its pubs registered to celebrate.

In addition, venues across the Punch estate hosted a variety of events between Friday 31 May and Sunday 2 June to kickstart the month’s celebrations.

The Devonshire Arms, in Buxton, for example, put on a family fun day last weekend in honour of Pride month, including live entertainment, a pizza van and Pride-themed cocktails.

Licensee of the Devonshire Arms, Dallas, said: “[This was] our third Pub Pride event and it was bigger than ever.

“In small villages and towns across the country it’s vital Pride events take place to show support, love, and kindness and most importantly acceptance of all of us.

“The support we receive from Punch and Ask for Clive goes above and beyond. Bring on next year.”

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