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6th April 2021


Shepherd Neame’s Chief Executive Jonathan Neame was among four senior brewery team members to brave the cold, wind and rain and sleep outside last Thursday night (March 25), helping to raise more than £24,000 for charity.

The company’s Chairman Richard Oldfield, Head of Export Olly Scott and Head of Property Services Martin Godden joined Jonathan Neame in undertaking RBLI’s Great Tommy Sleep Out.

They all slept out in their respective gardens, fashioning makeshift shelters to try to keep out the worst of the weather. The aim was not only to raise funds for RBLI, which is Shepherd Neame’s Charity of the Year, but to also raise awareness of the estimated 6,000 veterans that are currently homeless in the UK.

The Shepherd Neame team raised more than £4,000, and was among 15 businesses to take part in the challenge last Thursday, so far raising a group total of more than £24,000.

Jonathan Neame said: “I was delighted to take part in this year’s Great Tommy Sleep Out for our Charity of the Year. Shepherd Neame is proud to support RBLI, which inspires and helps so many deserving individuals to find work and lead independent lives. We have been overwhelmed by the number of donations received, and would like to thank all those who supported us.”

Shepherd Neame chose RBLI as its Charity of the Year in October 2019, and had planned an extensive calendar of fundraising activities at the brewery and across its pub estate. This was put on hold due to the impact of the pandemic, however, which saw pubs temporarily closed and the majority of Shepherd Neame’s head office staff working from home. The brewery therefore decided to extend its Charity of the Year partnership with RBLI until the end of December 2021. Shepherd Neame has continued to support the charity in a number of ways including sourcing social distance signage from the RBLI’s social enterprise company known as Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company.

Lisa Farmer, RBLI’s Director of Strategic Development, who oversees the charity’s fundraising activities, said: “We cannot thank Jonathan and the team enough for taking part in the Great Tommy Sleep Out. Despite the challenges the hospitality sector has faced, the support from Shepherd Neame has been fantastic during the pandemic.  Whether that’s buying social distancing signage from our social enterprise factory, donating Shepherd Neame products to our veterans for last year’s VE Day celebrations – and now the CEO himself getting involved in a challenge – they have done all they can to ensure our military veterans are well supported. Every single penny raised as part of our Great Tommy Sleep Out will go directly to supporting those who are most vulnerable.”

Donations can still be made on Shepherd Neame’s JustGiving page here:


About Shepherd Neame

Britain’s oldest brewer Shepherd Neame has been based in the market town of Faversham, Kent for over 300 years. Perhaps best known for great British classic ales such as Spitfire, which carries the Royal Warrant, its diverse portfolio includes Five Grain Lager, the Bear Island Collection and the Whitstable Bay Collection. It also brews international lagers under licence including Samuel Adams Boston Lager, and is the sole UK distributor for premium Thai lager Singha. The independent family business boasts an award-winning visitor centre and more than 300 pubs and hotels throughout London and the South East, from the historic heart of the City to the Kent coastline.

About RBLI (Royal British Legion Industries)

Established in 1919, Royal British Legion Industries is an independent national charity aiming to provide employment, training and support to members and veterans of the British Armed Forces, their families and dependants; as well as those with a disability or health condition and those who have been long term unemployed.

RBLI’s other services

Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company (BBMC) – A social enterprise which directly employs over 100 people, 70% of whom are veterans, have a disability or both. It manufactures a range of products for both the public and private sector. This generates commercial revenue meaning that even more employment opportunities are available for injured or impaired ex-forces personnel and people with disabilities and health conditions

Press release from Shepherd Neame

For further information please contact Public Relations Manager Kathryn Tye on 01795 542259 or email or visit