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Great Eccleston pub hosts a celebratory lunch for care home residents

Posted on - 23rd May, 2022 - 8:51pm | Author - | Posted in - Business, Campaigns, Preston News, Pubs
John Anthony, Susan Bell and Mihaly Serger
Photo Credit: Bernard Platt. John Anthony, Susan Bell and Mihaly Serger

A Great Eccleston pub provided lunch this month for the elderly and their carers to celebrate the joy of being able to socialise again and are now encouraging everyone to join them for the upcoming Platinum Jubilee Weekend.

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Owners John Anthony and Mihaly Serger hosted a lunch on May 10, 2022, for residents of The Northlands Village Rest Home and their carers at The White Bull to remind people of the joy of togetherness.

It was the care home residents first outing in two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event was a double celebration as it also marked the couple’s 12-month anniversary at The White Bull. 

The couple want to inspire those who have stopped socialising as much, as well as residents who still feel hesitant about going out, to join in the Platinum Jubilee Weekend festivities taking place from June 2 to June 5, 2022. 

The duo believe the once in a lifetime celebrations are the ideal time to reconnect, especially for people who have felt cut off during the pandemic.  

Read more: New Preston publicans unable to launch carvery due to fire decide to feed emergency workers for free

Publicans and care home residents outside The White Bull
Photo Credit: Bernard Platt. Publicans, carers and care home residents outside The White Bull

The lunch was subsidised by HEINEKEN’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign, which celebrates the unique role pubs play as social hubs and in combatting social isolation.  

John and Mihaly have brought a new energy to The White Bull since taking it on, doubling trade. They have introduced a raft of live entertainment including drag nights, solo artists and bands transforming the pub into a hub of the community.

John said: “As a same sex couple moving from Brighton to a village in the north west we were nervous about how we would be received. We needn’t have worried! We have been made to feel so welcome. We embraced the community and they embraced us. There’s a Men’s group in village and we are all going skiing together.

“Running our own pub has massively exceeded our dreams as has living in Great Eccleston. We can’t see ourselves being anywhere else now. We weren’t able to open initially due to Covid and rattled around in the building on our own for five and a half months.

“We put on events and do offers to give people a reason to come out and to make it accessible.  However, we are mindful that there are still pockets in the village where there is a genuine nervousness about going out. Families and friends have also missed out on celebrating major occasions, so what better opportunity to come together and celebrate than this historic Platinum Jubilee weekend. 

Read more: Fulwood art group’s first exhibition celebrates emergence from lockdown

Resident Judith Hunter seated at the table with manager of the Northlands Village Rest Home and John Anthony
Photo credit: Bernard Platt. Resident Judith Hunter seated at the table with manager of the Northlands Village Rest Home, Susan Bell and John Anthony

“It is so important for people’s mental wellbeing to get out and socialise. We will be putting our beer garden furniture out front to give those feeling nervous about socialising a bit more space. As for the pub, it will never have seen so much bunting!”

Susan Bell, the manager of The Northlands Village Rest Home said: “The last two years have been like a prison sentence for residents who haven’t been able to see families and friends let alone socialise outside. We’ve tried to replace visits from families with celebratory meals in the home, but it isn’t the same. 

“Normally we would have weekly trips from the home, a Christmas meal at a pub and entertainment in the home twice a week.  Events like today’s lunch – feeling part of the community – make a real difference to resident’s wellbeing, so thank you!”

James Crampton, Corporate Affairs Director HEINEKEN UK, said: “Social interaction is vital for mental health.  Pubs have a major role to play in helping people to stay connected. They are the hubs of the communities they serve and provide safe, secure and welcoming environments for people to come together. It’s wonderful to see people enjoying meeting up in pubs again.

“We hope this campaign will remind everyone of the joys of socialising, encourage them to get out more and include the wider community, particularly the elderly and vulnerable who may still feel apprehensive about going out.”

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