Last week a derelict pub in Hampshire that almost became another depressing statistic was named as CAMRA’s Pub of the Year. The message that a badly run pub that had been shut, had been turned around and was now thriving should be stuck up the backside of every pub property vulture. Publicans often have their arms tied behind their backs trying to make ends meet but a week in The Bevy where we hosted twenty different activities shows what you can do to make your local a true community pub, bringing a whole range of people through your doors. Kicking off with Super Saturday was the weekly Bevendean down parkrun, where up to 50 runners take on one of the hilliest but most scenic parkruns in the country then head to the Bevy for breakfast. Local MP Lloyd Russell-Moye was holding his monthly surgery while Brighton fans gathered for the free bus to the Huddersfield game. In the evening we had our monthly quiz this time as part of the World’s Biggest Pub Quiz raising money across the country for charities. We were supporting Chomp – the holiday lunch club for Moulsecoomb and Bevendean youngsters, who we have raised £388 for this year.
It was roasts on Sunday and on Monday 20 older residents had lunch at the Bridge the Gap club where Unite the Beat led a musical reminiscence session. This was followed by a wake for a local resident and Friday Friend. On Shrove Tuesday Carly was in the community kitchen making hundreds of pancakes with children. We also hosted a young Woodcraft group, followed by men’s darts (we’ve got two men’s teams, one woman’s and three bar billiards teams).
Wednesday daytime was the fortnightly arts and crafts activity, which we alternate with Know Dementia Memory Moments cafe, while we had family cooking with Albion in the Community in the evening. On Thursday our new Digital Hub Club started, offering free advice to anyone who needs help with a CV, job applications and other computer activities, while in the evening we ran a Smoking Cessation drop-in with Albion in the Community.
Every weekday lunchtime you can get a hot meal for just £3 and on Tuesday and Thursday we work with the Real Junk Food Project, using food that supermarkets would otherwise bin to cook up a feast, feeding bellies not bins.
Friday Friends hosted the usual 50 plus older residents who come for some lunch, bingo, company and a laugh. Last week pupils from Moulsecoomb Primary visited singing songs and handing out cookies they had made; this week Brighton Aldridge Community Academy students presented them with a cheque for money they had raised.
We do sell beer but once again showed just how much difference we can make in our community. As one of our 90 year old club regulars said ‘I never thought I would be making new friends at my age.’ The Bevy really is “more than just a pub”.