I was in the pub Friday chatting to a group of teachers from Moulsecoomb Primary. One of them had recently left to work in a spcialist school. But what I love about her story is she went to Moulsecoomb Primary, her children went to Moulsecoomb Primary, then she started volunteering, but was so shy she wouldn’t even ring a bell for nursery children. But in the intervening years, she got a paid job at the school and is now a highly qualified speech and language teacher.
And to me that is what a proper community school should be about.
Not just tapping into every childs potential but also parents.
And its also what a community pub should be.
Which brings me onto the amazing Lizanne who I first met at our community garden where she would bring a lady with very complex needs. She started volunteering delivering meals on wheels, helping Friday Friends, then became the meals on wheels co-ordinator and for the past six weeks the manager.
It’s fair to say we’ve had a few bumpy months at the pub but there’s been lots of changes, comings and goings but with a new manager with a new team I think you’d agree have done wonders in a short space of time.
Because just when you thought covid had made running a pub hard work, along pops the cost of living crisis with raising energy prices and food inflation that threatens to make covid a small prick in the park.
So how can the Bevy turn a profit while making sure everyone can have a bit of a social life? Our children’s summer activities showed just how when we get it right, we can give familys a good time and make a bit of money.
Infact whisper it quietly we actually made a profit in October!
Over 200 children came to those summer holiday events while last week we had a bumper Halloween half term.
Because of this, we will be running after school activities family activities with free food every Thursday in January, February and March to help people out.
We are totally refurbing our old garage so we can use it for growing more veg and collecting rainwater, while getting a new rocket composter that will feed the garden.
We’ve now a pool and toad in the hole teams to go with our darts and bar billiards, as well as table tennis table in the garden.
We have switched to a new beer supplier, which is helping us keep prices down as well as having our very own Bevy lager which we will keep at £4 a pint as long as possible.
You hum it and the pub will host. We recently held a dog show and have a new drop in Friday lunch club for just £5 (incudes meal, pudding and hot drink) along with job club, art, dance and ear Acupuncture. We host Amaze sunflower support group, free Bevy bus to the Albion games
It hasn’t worked out with East Brighton Food coop who deliver so many meals on wheels across the city. But we left on best of terms and chatting to them about helping reopen the Valley Social in Whitehawk to become a community hub and pub again. And just to show you what a community pub can do, todays roast is a combination of Pam, Dave, Barbara, Jenny and Lizanne. Not sure who made the gravy.
And finally, a couple of thank yous. Jenny came back after a sabbatical and a health scare and let’s just say she had a lot to untangle. She’s a superstar who quietly gets on with all the headbanging boring bits that no one sees but helps the pub to remain open.
Helen, who has been with the Bevy from the very start and has filled in every role, from volunteer, committee member, manager, community manager and launched the meals on wheels service but has now stepped down from the pub
Without Jenny or Helen there would be no Bevy.
So massive thank you to both of them and everyone who over the past 9 years, despite whatever has been thrown at us, means the Bevy continues to thrive.