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Heineken teams up with poet to build community spirit in pubs

13th December 2016

National Poetry Slam champion Solomon O.B is using the power of verse to shine a light on the important role Britain’s pubs play in building community spirit. London-born Solomon O.B has travelled around the country listening to heart-warming, real-life stories of publicans and locals about the crucial role of pubs in creating a sense of togetherness in their communities.

Following his tour, Solomon then used these real life community stories as the inspiration for a new powerful piece of original poetry, which he has called BrewingGood Cheer. To view Solomon’s journey, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naTBv4wjs5A&feature=youtu.be.

As part of his journey of poetic inspiration, Solmon O.B met staff and regulars of The Crown and Horses, in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire: a pub that was forced to close in 2015 due to torrential floods. It has only managed to re-open its doors through the sheer hard work of the local community that banded together and returned the pub to its former glory.

Another location visited by Solomon on his journey to discover daily acts of kindness in pubs was The Wheatsheaf in Woodplumpton, Lancashire. Following the closure of the village’s post office, locals had to travel miles to the next town to post letters deposit takings and draw out pensions. To help, the pub literally brought the post office to them - by opening a postal service facility in the pub!

Solomon O.B, who describes himself as a hybrid of rapper and poet, also embarked on a trip to Liverpool’s Elephant pub to learn about the establishment giving mothers in the community a place to get together every morning and socialise over a cup of tea and biscuits.

The release today of Solomon’s poem is being used to officially mark the launch of HEINEKEN’s #BrewingGood Cheer: a nationwide campaign to show the role pubs play in nurturing community spirit and bringing people together. At the heart of #BrewingGood Cheer, will be a series of festive pub lunches for locals who don’t have many friends or family around to spend Christmas with.

Also joining the campaign will be community charities including Royal Voluntary Service, Salford Start and Golden Oldies that will co-host the lunches to help reach people most in need of some company.

The campaign will be taking place in the run up to Christmas: a period traditionally associated with selflessness, good will toward all, kindness and when families and communities traditionally come together.

Claire Matthews from HEINEKEN said: “Pubs are the original social networks, so they’re the perfect place to bring people together and help foster a tight-knit community spirit.

“We hope that #BrewingGood Cheer will shine a light on the wonderful examples of community togetherness and the role pubs play in this - from the everyday to the extraordinary.

“And by showing that even a small gesture, such as chat over a drink and food, can make a big difference if you’re feeling lonely, we hope to encourage people to think about reaching out to someone they know in need of some compmay.

As well as the #BrewingGood Cheer lunches, HEINEKEN will be donating £50,000 to 50 charity and community projects that support people who are lonely or isolated across the country.  

The #BrewingGood Cheer lunches will be taking place in pubs from Wednesday 7th December in London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Herefordshire and Tadcaster. To find out more about #BrewingGood Cheer, please visit www.neighbourly.com/brewinggood.

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