We believe that the interests of responsible, entrepreneurial pub businesses need to be aligned to the interests of their local communities and consumers. We seek to provide a friendly, safe and controlled environment as well as promoting the key contribution pubs can make to their local community. Some of our key initiatives and activities are outlined below.
With over 4,500 pubs across England and Wales, ei group has the opportunity to touch a sizeable number of local communities, offering employment opportunities and amenities that meet the needs of local people. The most effective way to do this is through partnerships with our publicans, as they are the people that live within the communities and should work at building lasting relationships within the local areas, and remaining sensitive to local issues. The best pubs provide a friendly, safe, inclusive and controlled environment, and make a positive contribution to the local population.
Pub is the Hub
We continue to support the philosophy and ethos of the campaign initiated by The Prince of Wales and called “Pub is the Hub' that encourages rural publicans to diversify and deliver a wider range of services to the communities they serve. This will help secure the longer term success of the pub and keep it at the heart of the local community. Many of our publicans have developed a range of community services including post offices, village shops and even 'out of hours' shop vending machines selling everyday essentials.
Supporting industry trade bodies and associates
We support a number of key trade bodies and associations including The BBPA (British Beer & Pub Association). The BBPA are the leading body representing Britain's brewers and pub companies and strive to promote and protect one of the nation's most iconic and important industries.
We work with the Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA), an organisation looking after the business interests of self-employed licensees in the licensed trade.
The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) is the professional body for the licensed retail sector and it has charitable status and a remit to raise professional standards. We work closely with the BII on a variety of initiatives that support our publicans and the industry; we assist all new ei group publicans with their subscription to the BII.
Community Hero Awards
Our Community Heroes Awards recognise those publicans who make a real difference to the communities they serve. The awards are about going above and beyond the call of duty and having a positive impact at the heart of the community.
All of the many nominations for the awards make a significant and positive impact on the communities they serve. The national annual award winner receives £6,000 to spend on local initiatives, the national runner up receives £5,000, with the other 52 regional finalists each receiving up to £3,000 towards local causes and activities of their choice.
Russell Clark. The Cleveland Bay, Redcar
The Cleveland Bay has opened its doors to everyone. We have a Young at Heart club with 80 members between the age of 50 and 90 who play bingo, quizzes, arrange days out and take advantage of our pensioners’ special menu. On Monday and Thursday nights we have a gamers club with 30 + member who indulge in Warcraft gaming. Local group Redcar Education and Development who provide help and support for people with learning disabilities visit on a regular basis and take part in line dancing, pool, dominos, darts and bingo and also enjoy lunch. On Wednesdays we have an afternoon and evening bingo with people of all ages playing. One of our local church groups come along for their monthly meeting and a couple of local outdoor bowls teams come for their tea after they have been playing.
Ei group is committed to supporting and encouraging our employees to give something back by leading or participating in charitable events. The Group operates a charity committee consisting of employee representatives. One of the roles of the committee is to agree ei group donations to sponsor employees in their individual challenges. Some examples of these challenges include the London to Paris bike ride, Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life and the Great Birmingham Run. We have donated a total of £3,000 over the course of the year for these events. The committee also organises fundraising events at its Head Office including bake sales, treasure hunts, raffles and quizzes, which have together raised another £4,000 benefitting organisations including Comic Relief, Macmillan and the Royal British Legion. ei group are taking their support for the British Legion further, and have launched, together with Charles Wells, a beer called ‘Poppy’, for which the Legion will receive 10 pence for each pint sold. In addition, ei group employees had the opportunity to donate selection boxes at Christmas time, for which nearly 200 were collected and distributed to three local charities.
Across the pub estate, a large number of ei group publicans supported Cancer Research UK’s second national fundraising BBQ weekend, and together raised over £8,000. In June 2015 we entered into a Primary Authority Scheme partnership with West Midlands Fire Service. Our contribution of £15,000 per year to support this partnership is used to promote the charity Safeside. Safeside has experiential learning centres in Eastside and Handsworth in Birmingham which provide innovative, interactive and enjoyable learning environments inspiring visitors to think and act safely. The centres are used extensively by school groups, vulnerable adults and the elderly. Through our managed business we have sought to align our ethos of being involved in and supporting the communities in which we operate, and are participating in the Stride venture which introduces young people in local schools to business and enterprise skills. We will be supporting Stride with their “putting young minds to work” programme for 200 pupils within a three mile radius of four of our managed pubs in the south east, committing £20,000 to this venture.