Coronavirus

Kent pubs come together to offer ‘crucial’ support for communities

Kent-based publicans have taken it upon themselves to raise both spirits and money to support their communities with various different initiatives, including the provision of complimentary meals for children, as well as free accommodation to key workers.

The news, which comes after the Government requested the closure of all pubs, with the exception of those offering takeaway services..

Ben and Luke Chell, the owners of the Sans Pariel, Wainscott, have taken the decision to run a free school meal delivery service for those who needed it after discovering that some members of the community relied on the Government’s free school meal initiative.

The initiative, which is run across Facebook, sees the Chell brother’s team open up the pub’s kitchen every weekday morning to prepare meal packs, which are then delivered directly to those who have requested it. All packs are created following the necessary health and safety procedures and deliveries are made adhering to the social distancing regulations.

Within just a few days of the campaign launching on social media, it received over 110,000 views, 1,600 shares, 1,500 likes, and has currently generated £1,650 in donations.

Ben Chell said: “Pubs have long been the central hub for communities, a place where people go to spend quality time with family and friends, and with the enforced closure of sites, this is just my way of continuing to give back and provide a service.

“It’s in times of adversity that people pull together and do what they can to support one another. We’re very much looking forward to reaching the other side of this pandemic and welcoming the community back to the pub to share a drink, or two.”

Another example is the Royal Oak, Hawkhurst, which has offered up its rooms free of charge to key workers, such as NHS workers and the police, who are looking for somewhere to stay in order to safeguard the people they live with.

Since launching the initiative on 21 March, the pub has been “inundated” with applications and has seen full occupancy since the announcement.

Tom Stovold, director of Revived Inns LTD, owner of the Royal Oak, said: “We live in incredibly strange and challenging times with the fast-paced Coronavirus situation changing daily. One thing that’s remained the same, is our focus on the local community and we’re determined to do our bit to support those in need.

“Whilst we remain in lockdown, we wanted to show our support for the workers on the frontline helping fight the virus by making use of our vacant room. It is only a small gesture, but in times like these it’s all about everyone pulling together and doing their bit.”

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