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Christmas Together: publicans invited to join in new Christmas Plus One campaign created to help connect people and communities this December by using their pub as the festive hub

  • Christmas Plus One aims to help people feeling lonely and benefit pubs
  • Pub customers encouraged to give someone a ‘Plus One’ invite to pub in December
  • A national ‘Christmas Plus One Day’ is taking place on 14 December, which publicans are encouraged to put on events for
  • Initiative highlights the social value of pubs and publicans

Publicans are being invited to help raise awareness of a new seasonal campaign, encouraging their customers to help tackle loneliness in their area, by taking someone as a ‘Plus One’ to the pub in December.

Christmas Plus One is being organised by the Together Coalition, as a way to build kinder, closer, more connected communities by bringing people together and bridging divides. This Christmas they are giving all members of the UK public a ‘Plus One’ www.together.org.uk/christmasplusone, inviting them to take their Christmas cheer one step further and involve someone new in their festive plans.

The initiative is being supported by Pub is The Hub, who run Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’, Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness – Pub is The Hub, a campaign which supports publicans to help tackle loneliness in their local area, and Heineken UK, who are getting involved in Christmas Plus One through its annual Brewing Good Cheer campaign.

Join in Christmas Plus One Day

Publicans are also being encouraged to take part with an event or activity on a national Christmas Plus One Day on Tuesday, 14 December, when people across the country will come together around this national day to help spread some festive joy. Alongside this pub customers, charities, community groups and volunteers are being asked to do small acts of kindness throughout December and take someone along as a ‘Plus One’ to their pub for a chat, a drink, some food or community event.

Resources to help publicans getting involved

Publicans can find Christmas Plus One resources, including a guide with information and ideas on getting involved, a poster to highlight the campaign to their customers and social media tools here: Christmas Plus One – Pub is The Hub

Deborah Kemp, ambassador for loneliness for the ‘Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’ campaign, said: “By encouraging customers to bring a ‘Plus One’ along to the pub in December publicans can not only make a difference to someone’s day, but potentially make their pub accessible to a whole new audience, community group or local volunteers.”

Simple actions can make a big difference

Kemp adds: “We appreciate Christmas is already a busy and challenging time for publicans, but there are many simple ways to join in and make a difference with Christmas Plus One. This new initiative is all about connecting people and their communities at a time of celebration and goodwill – a time of year when so many might feel that no one cares.”

Research in Together’s Talk/Together*[1] report highlights that 73% of people say they would like society to be closer and more connected in the future.

Heineken UK pubs and staff joining in and Brewing Good Cheer

HEINEKEN UK’s pub business Star Pubs & Bars are among those already getting involved in the campaign, including its 140 Just Add Talent managed operator pubs who will be hosting events throughout December.

As with previous years HEINEKEN will also be offering all their 2,300 employees the opportunity to volunteer in Christmas Plus One through their Brewing Good Cheer campaign.

Easy to get involved

Kim FitzGibbon, licensee at Star Pubs & Bars’ pub The Drill in Romford, Essex, said: “I am looking forward to bringing some festive joy to customers this year, especially after missing out last Christmas. The Christmas Plus One campaign is a great way to remind people to think about those who would love to have more social interaction with others and may feel socially isolated.”

She adds: “We will be highlighting the campaign and hope that customers will act on it and bring someone with them to the pub to enjoy a pint or meal. We can all do our bit and it’s not a big ask, so I do hope other pubs get involved too.”

‘Pubs play vital role in combating social isolation’

Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars, said: “We are delighted to be getting behind the Christmas Plus One campaign as pubs play a vital role in helping combat social isolation in their communities.  It is an issue HEINEKEN feels passionately about and is the focus of our Brewing Good Cheer campaign which has been in place since 2017.”

He adds: “All of our 140 managed operator Just Add Talent pubs will be offering a free meal or drinks this year, building on the support many of our pubs have provided to communities throughout the pandemic, and continue to do on an ongoing basis.”

Notes to editors:

[1] Research from Together’s Talk/Together Report (March 2021). See the full report here: Talk – Together

For more information on Christmas Plus One please see Christmas Plus One – Pub is The Hub and together.org.uk/christmasplusone

If sharing Christmas Plus One news on social media, please use #ChristmasTogether

About Pub is The Hub: Pub is The Hub, pubisthehub.org.uk, is a not-for-profit organisation, which offers independent specialist advice to publicans on rural services diversification so they can all provide viable local services at the heart of their community. With a proven track record of rural project development and delivery over the last 19 years, Pub is The Hub has worked with great publicans to open shops, libraries, cafes, community cinemas, allotments, play areas and much more. Since 2013, the organisation has also been able to offer small grants through its Community Services Fund. Pub is The Hub has helped over 600 pubs diversify.

About ‘Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’: Building on its community services work, in 2018 Pub is The Hub conceived its ‘Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness’ campaign. ‘Join Inn’, specifically looks to advise publicans and their communities on how to become better connected, helping local people feel less isolated and, in the process helping to alleviate loneliness. For more information and resources, including Publican Guides visit Join Inn – Last Orders for Loneliness – Pub is The Hub 

About HEINEKEN UK

HEINEKEN UK is supporting this initiative with its 2021 Brewing Good Cheer campaign, which has been supporting our communities in tackling loneliness since 2017.

About Star Pubs & Bars

Star Pubs & Bars is part of HEINEKEN UK. The vast majority of its 2,500 pubs are leased out to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Around 140 pubs operate on its Just Add Talent model (a managed operator agreement). Its ambition is to Build Britain’s Best Pub Company – by attracting and retaining the best operators, investing to create great pubs at the heart of their communities and by providing licensees with market-leading insight and support.

About Together Coalition

The Together Coalition brings together local community groups from across the UK with some of the country’s best-known organisations. From the NHS to ITV, the Scouts to the Rotary, UK Sport to UK music, what unites its members is the collective aim is to help build kinder, closer and more connected communities in the aftermath of COVID-19. For further information, please see www.together.org.uk


Press release from Pub is the Hub

For further press information about Christmas Plus One contact Jo Bruce on jobruce@pubisthehub.org.uk or call 07766 203628

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