While the pub was closed during the national lockdown, one of the hardest bits was knowing that our elderly lunch club regulars would be missing out on their weekly social. Bridge The Gap, Friday Friends and the Dementia Café had become important parts of people’s lives, not to mention the wonderful atmosphere the clubs brought to the pub.
Within a week of closing, our team had sprung into action, setting up Bevy Meals on Wheels to deliver healthy, nourishing food to our seniors, some of them amongst the most vulnerable members of our community.
We knew that not only would Meals on Wheels provide their dinner, but also the chance for our team to check that everybody was okay, and to show our lunch clubbers a friendly face and socially distanced chat to break up the boredom of yet another day under quarantine.
But nothing replaces face-to-face socialising so we were delighted to launch our new Chatterboxes club this week. The Bevy has teamed up with Gladrags to host a weekly lunch in the pub garden so that some of our older people can get out for a bit of a fresh air and a natter.
Gladrags is a local community resource – a charity providing costumes and educational resources to community groups and schools. They’ve worked with us at The Bevy before, running reminiscence sessions and bringing along their popular dressing up outfits, so it’s been great to link up with them again to run Chatterboxes.
Gladrags founder Vania said “We talked with The Bevy team about how to get people together again and it fitted in really well with the meals on wheels. So now each week a few people can come together in The Bevy garden to enjoy a meal, a chat and some entertainment”.
The sessions will be held on Wednesday lunch times, with a limited number of people in attendance to ensure adequate social distance. The Gladrags team will be encouraging our lunch clubbers to record their memories of lockdown for the covid stories blog they have set up and we hope to welcome them back to The Bevy soon for a community event to sew up the many bunting contributions they’ve gathered through their lockdown bunting project. Find out more about both of these projects on the Gladrags website.
This week we were joined by the fabulous Open Strings, Brighton and Hove's specialist community music service, who performed a set of songs to sing along to. Their award-winning free monthly service where they meet older people, chat about and make music together has been adapted to covid times - The service is now available online or as a safely-distanced doorstep visit. Visit their Open Strings website to find out more and register.