Need for more awareness of grassroots sports support of pubs

New research for industry body PubEd has revealed a disconnect between PubGoers’ love of their local and its appreciation as a hub for charity funding and grassroots sports support.

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The team of Horse & Jockeys in Melling, Merseyside, joint winners of the PubAds Community Pub Hero Awards 2021

Most consumers believe that the pub is at least ‘somewhat important’ in creating a vibrant community. But the extent of the pub’s support for charity is little realized, with PubAid estimates at over £100m each year, or £40m for grassroots sport.

Research by PubAd shows that 90% of pubs raise money for charity. One-fifth say they have turned to the charities they support since the lockdown, with local causes being the most popular. These include hospitals and schools (44%), the NHS (21%), care for people with illness (17%), and mental health (12%). Showing pubs’ ability to respond rapidly to a changing world, 8% said they are supporting refugees, including Ukraine Relief.

The pub’s support for their local communities doesn’t stop at charitable fundraising. Three-quarters of pubs provide free space for local community events, four out of ten donate to local campaigns such as food banks, and 16% donate food to people in need locally.

PubAid co-founder, Des O’Flanagan, said: “Pubs are powerhouses of fundraising, whether they’re collecting for a national charity or a local cause. Thousands of charities each year are fueled by tremendous fundraising efforts by licensees and their teams. Institutions benefit, while their support for grassroots sports keeps countless local clubs afloat.

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“Most pubgoers will be aware of some fundraising going on in their local, but it seems that pubs are not everyone’s first port of call if they want to raise money for charity, or for their sports team. want to support.

“We know there is an appetite among licensees to be more involved in their communities, so what we want to do is to square the circle and ensure that charities and grassroots players are about Pub as a partner. Think in Community pubs have tremendous support in their local area and are willing to repay this in the form of financial and other support for community causes.”

He continued: “At PubAid our aim is to celebrate Pub as a force for good in our communities, so we are pleased to see that the majority of consumers see their local as filling this role.”

Later this year, PubAd will again run its Community Pub Hero Awards, designed to reward licensees and their teams who go the extra mile to support their local communities, charities and worthy causes. The scheme, sponsored by Matthew Clark and run with the all-party Parliamentary Beer Group, attracted 115 entries last year.

PubEd also runs a Grassroots Sports Champion program with the support of Sky. Around 300 pubs have joined to gain recognition for supporting local sports. Becoming a Grassroots Sports Champion is free, and the pub receives a marketing pack of staff T-shirts and window stickers.