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Denise van Outen Shines a Light on the Great British Pub
- TV presenter and West End star Denise Van Outen fronts HEINEKEN’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign which highlights the important role pubs play in communities, needed more than ever as a result of the pandemic –
- HEINEKEN launches its annual nationwide Brewing Good Cheer campaign with TV presenter and West End star Denise Van Outen
- Now in its fifth year, as part of the campaign Denise visited The Kings Arms in Bexleyheath to find out what it has done to support its community during the past year of lockdowns and restrictions
- Denise also reveals what the pub means to her and her family and what she’s missed during the time they’ve been closed across the UK
- As part of the campaign, the Open Arms report, commissioned by The Campaign to End Loneliness, in collaboration with HEINEKEN reveals how great British pubs help to tackle loneliness and social isolation and are at the heart of communities up and down the country
- HEINEKEN has donated thousands of pounds to pubs across the UK and colleagues have been virtually volunteering to help lonely, isolated or vulnerable people during the pandemic
- Watch Denise Van Outen visit The Kings Arms in Bexleyheath here.
TV presenter and West End star Denise Van Outen is fronting a campaign to showcase the positive and important role pubs play in the community. Through the annual Brewing Good Cheer campaign with HEINEKEN, the Dancing On Ice contestant visited The Kings Arms in Bexleyheath, London, to find out what they have done to help support their community over the past year of lockdowns and restrictions.
The much loved TV star met with licensee Pete Marshall who has ran The Kings Arms, Bexleyheath for the past three years, and like licensees up and down the country has found the effects of the pandemic and the pub being closed to be hard on the business but also on the local community. Denise and Pete chatted about the various ways he and his team continued to help support the local community and regulars of the pub including cooking and delivering 700 meals to doctors and nurses during the lockdown in March 2020, and hosting a virtual pub quiz to nearly 400 households on a weekly basis raising thousands of pounds for the NHS as a result.
Denise Van Outen said: “The pub is a British institution and so to have had them closed for so much of this past year has felt like a real hole in my social life. As a family we spend most Sundays in our local having a roast and often bump into neighbours and old friends. I’ve had some of my best memories, from birthdays to family meals, in my local and I know my Dad has really missed them too. He goes to the pub almost every day - has one pint and then heads home. For him it’s about having a routine and a chance to interact with people other than my Mum every day!
“The Great British pub really is about so much more than just having a drink and I was delighted when HEINEKEN asked me to get involved in the Brewing Good Cheer campaign in such a tough year for the industry. Meeting Pete at The Kings Arms was a pleasure and hearing all about what he’s done for his community during this time, well it just re-enforced what we’ve all learnt this past year – community is everything. I can’t wait till they’re back open, for myself and my friends and family yes, but more so for those lonely or socially isolated people who for them, they’re a lifeline.”
As well as finding out about what Pete and his team have done to support their community during the pandemic, Denise also spoke to Dr Thomas Thurnell-Read, a Senior Lecturer at Loughborough University and writer of the Open Arms report, commissioned by The Campaign to End Loneliness, in collaboration with HEINEKEN for the Brewing Good Cheer campaign. The report reveals the important and positive role pubs play in communities up and down the country – providing people from all walks of life with a space to come together for social interaction and connection.
Dr Thomas Thurnell-Read, a Senior Lecturer at Loughborough University and writer of the report said: “The Open Arms report, commissioned by The Campaign to End Loneliness, in collaboration with HEINEKEN was guided by the belief that pubs can, and often do, have a social value beyond their economic role. Pubs can be really important settings for social activities beyond the home and the workplace, a place where people can feel a connection with others. The report reveals that for many, going to the local pub is an opportunity to get out of the house and have a conversation. Especially for older residents, meaningful social interactions like this can be infrequent, especially in retirement or after bereavement of a long-term partner leaves people socially isolated. This social contact, and the sense of connection and community it provides, has been under threat during the Covid-19 pandemic, and protecting the social role of pubs is now more important than ever.”
HEINEKEN’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign would usually see Christmas lunches being held for hundreds of people in pubs across the country. Instead, the UK’s leading pub, cider and beer business has been doing what it can to help support its pubs up and down the country and the communities connected to them. Thousands of pounds have been donated to 100 pubs across the UK and HEINEKEN colleagues across the UK have been virtually volunteering to help lonely, isolated or vulnerable people by calling them on the phone.
James Crampton, Corporate Affairs Director at HEINEKEN UK said: “This year has been incredibly tough for so many people. Loneliness and isolation have affected many across the country and our annual Brewing Good Cheer campaign is all about tackling that. To release this report as part of our activity to raise awareness of this critical issue is even more pertinent now. Of course we understand the need for restrictions to safeguard the wellbeing of the nation but this report recognises the important role that the Great British pub plays in communities and we don’t want to forget that. Pubs are hubs of communities in every village, town and city. They’re so much more than just a place to have a pint – they’re a place to be with each other, and as soon as is safe to do so, we cannot wait to welcome people back.”
Through its Star Pubs & Bars business, HEINEKEN owns 2,500 pubs across the UK, and demonstrates that the Great British pub is often at the heart of communities and a place where people from all walks of life can come together.