Eamonn Holmes & Ruth Langford front HEINEKEN’s Brewing Good Cheer

Eamonn Holmes & Ruth Langford front HEINEKEN’s Brewing Good Cheer

TV favourites Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford are fronting the fourth year of HEINEKEN’s Brewing Good Cheer campaign to bring good cheer and community spirit to pubs across the country this festive season.

180 of HEINEKEN’s Star Pubs & Bars are hosting pub lunches and festive get-togethers throughout December for 1000s of people who don’t often get the chance to enjoy their local. Through Brewing Good Cheer Heineken want to celebrate and raise awareness of the important role pubs play in bringing communities together.

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford surprised guests from community foodbank St Saviour’s Sunbury and care home charity Langley Haven by dressing up as Santa and Mrs Claus to host a pub lunch for both charities at The Red Lion pub in Shepperton. Watch the full video here

Tina Baker, a spokesperson from St Saviour’s Sunbury, said: “Being involved in a day like this is amazing. To be able to sit and talk, and enjoy great food and drink is a real treat, as we don’t normally get to do this in our day to day work.  As carers, it can be very emotional, so being able to enjoy a meal together with the residents at such an important time of the year is really important to our wellbeing.  And to have Eamonn and Ruth here, well, that’s the icing on the cake!”

Star Pubs & Bars Managing Director, Lawson Mountstevens, said: “Brewing Good Cheer is just one example of the vital support that pubs provide to their local communities day in, day out.  This year, the Brewing Good Cheer campaign has expanded to provide many more ways for licensees to get involved, whether it’s a mince pie and coffee morning, mulled wine or a Christmas lunch.  It’s great to see more licensees participating, bringing people together and spreading festive cheer.”

John Longden, Chief Executive for Pub is The Hub said: “Brewing Good Cheer is a real force for good.  Festive events in pubs are a great way for neighbours and local people to meet up who may not get the chance to socialise very often.  This type of activity will make a difference to many people especially those living in rural communities where there are fewer events and fewer communal venues for people to socialise in.”  

Case study: The Butlers Arms, Pleasington

One pub that's got behind Brewing Good Cheer campaign is The Butlers Arms, Pleasington.  In 2017 Mike Hales and his staff hosted their first Brewing Good Cheer Christmas lunch for men with learning support and mental health issues working with the charity Creative Support. Mindful that this was likely to be the men’s only Christmas celebration, Mike was determined not to turn anyone away, and so a lunch originally planned for 20 ballooned into one for 60, which he was delighted to fund.

On the back of the lunch, a charity football team was formed – Blokes United, which the pub supports.  The men meet twice a week to play football followed by conversation and free food and drink at The Butlers Arms.  Says Mike: “It’s important to give back.  Having a pub means we have the tools to help people turnaround their lives.  In our case, it has helped guys going through relationship problems and stopped those who are suicidal.”

In recognition of Mikes support for Blokes United, he was recently invited to the Houses of Parliament to share details of its success with MPs.  There's now talk of rolling it out across the country.

This year, Mike and his team will be hosting Brewing Good Cheer mince pie and coffee events at all three of his pubs, The Butlers Arms, Pleasington, The Top Lock, Chorley and The Railway, Bromley Cross, in collaboration with drug addiction charity, T Force and Blokes United.

Adds Mike: “I am a great fan of Brewing Good Cheer as I believe it is really important to support vulnerable people locally.  It’s the best thing you can do in the community.”