Wouldn’t it be nice if the news occasionally reflected all the amazing stuff happening around the country? People working their hardest to make a difference in their neighbourhoods; from community cafés, piers, farms, hubs, sports clubs and of course community pubs. But nearly five years on from opening and it’s very depressing that The Bevy is still the only community owned pub on a housing estate in the UK.
Last week over 15 different organisations used The Bevy. A typical week in an untypical pub, on an ordinary estate doing extraordinary things.
We started with Open Strings dementia friendly music session then Bridge the Gap lunch club, who welcomed pupils from Moulsecoomb Primary to interview older residents with the help of Little Green Pig. Carly was in the training kitchen teaching children how to cook, and thanks to our link up with Albion in the Community we will soon be offering families the chance to learn to cook. We hosted the first ever Never Alone club sponsored by Skinners, the local funeral directors; along with our regular arts and crafts club and another successful Brains at the Bevy where local academics talk on a whole range of subjects in a language everyone can understand. Every Thursday we offer a digital hub drop-in for people who need on line support, be it benefits, CV’s, appointments or just how to use a computer. Friday Friends welcomed over 50 older people to their regular club, all enjoying the greens and the rhubarb grown in our edible pub garden. Super Saturday we hosted Bevendean Down Parkrun, breakfasts, surgery with our local MP and our first ever Rock n Roll bingo. Every weekday lunchtime we have £4 community lunches thanks to our link up with Fairshare. Any food waste then makes its way to either our compost bins or Brighton Paper Rounds’ kitchen waste bins.
We got everyone together who are running children’s activities over the summer holidays and have produced a poster showcasing everything that’s happening locally. We also recently hosted an East Brighton Trust grants drop-in for people to meet funders to try and get their ideas off the ground. One conversation has led to funding Mark the Chicken Man to buy an incubator and start his chickens as a therapy project and move them into Moulsecoomb Primary School!
It’s not all been plain sailing. Thanks to a lack of funding our Dementia cafe closed with just one days notice.
Pubs have always been a place of bringing people together, but it’s the unseen stuff; the older people who come to the clubs, who get help with forms at our digital hub, whose health or well-being is flagged up when they would otherwise be forgotten. We can reel off buzz words galore; social capital, social prescribing, but it’s hard to measure, and no one has come up with a better method than the Friday Friends Custard Metric Measurement. When they started they needed 2 pints of custard for their puddings, now they need 16. We are justifiably proud of what we have achieved, but there is so much more to do. But with scarce resources how do we reach those most in need that are under the radar and could do with someone to chat too? And is it because it is so much harder to do on an estate that there is still only one Bevy?
Friday Friends often visit Moulsecoomb Primary nursery
Can’t be many pubs that grow sweetcorn in their gardens
- Five Years On – Why only one Bevy? Talk and discussion at the Stir to Action Festival https://www.stirtoaction.com/festival
- It’s always a financial struggle but one simple way you can support us is by hiring Brighton’s only community owned pub for an event . Give us a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org