The Bevy is up for a national award, after delivering thousands of meals on wheels to vulnerable patrons during the lockdown. Within a week of closing in March, we’d reinvented the pub as a community food hub, delivering emergency meals to the seniors who would normally attend our weekly lunch clubs.
We’ve now been nominated for a Great British Pub Award in the “Feeding the Community” category, putting us in the running for a £10,000 top prize.
The Great British Pub Awards are held annually and the winners are normally decided by a panel of judges. But this year, in the spirit of community, the winners will be determined by an online public vote.
Voting is now open and ends on Wednesday 26th August.
Helen Jones, who has been coordinating the meals on wheels said “Running two weekly Lunch Clubs and a Dementia club we were well aware of the existing social isolation and loneliness among local seniors. So we did a ring around to see who would like a meal during the lockdown period, especially since over 70’s had been advised to stay indoors.
We’ve worked across our community with churches, charities and schools and have been able to contact so many people who would have been terribly isolated. The deliveries were also an opportunity to find out if people needed help as well as providing a little bit of structure and connection to the outside world and letting people know that they are cared about.”
We have now delivered over 5,000 meals on wheels to vulnerable people living nearby including the elderly, those shielding and local families. The service is still going, funded by grants and donations from the public for those who can’t afford to pay for the meals themselves. Much of the food came via the Sussex branch of charity FareShare and the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership, and our Bevy chefs worked with staff at local secondary school BACA to prepare additional meals in the school kitchen. This partnership also helped establish contact with low income families in need of meals.
The Bevy reopened in late July with a hearty food menu available to enjoy in our pub garden or to takeaway. On Wednesdays, some of the seniors now come to the pub garden for a socially distanced lunch, chat and some entertainment in collaboration with local charity Gladrags.
Bevy Chair Warren Carter says “When the lockdown happened it was a no-brainer to help out the people who usually come to the pub for food, drink and company. It’s fantastic to be recognised in the Great British Pub Awards and we hope this means more people come and visit us. We’re Brighton’s only community pub, the only community pub on a housing estate in the whole country, our food menu is superb and it’s a bargain! Supporting us supports all our community activities like meals on wheels too.”
You can cast your vote here: https://www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk/feeding-the-community/ and if you’d like to help keep our Meals on Wheels free for those who can’t afford them, please donate here →