The Chequers is situated in a prominent position overlooking the village of Feltwell, located 16 miles from Thetford. Licensee Jeremy Holmes has always tried to involve the community, with the pub being central to this theme, having played a major part in village life for over 300 years. Jeremy is an excellent host with a genuine interest in his customers, always going that extra mile to help the residents, and therefore he was well aware of the lack of facilities for both young and old and decided to do something about it.
Being mindful of the community needs Jeremy went on line and could see the initiative set-up by Norfolk County Council in conjunction with Pub is The Hub, to help pubs in Norfolk to diversify, and decided to make contact with Pub is The Hub. Jeremy’s vision was to try and help all sections of the community and age groups by providing a Community Cinema, plus a Book Exchange and to have a Senior Citizens Luncheon Club. With help and advice from Pub is The Hub and a small kick-start grant from Norfolk County Council Jeremy was able to put his vision into practice.
By using the function room as a flexible space this made it possible for it to be used as a Cinema at certain times of the week and also to introduce a Book Exchange and Lunch Club all within this same area. The nearest cinema is over 20 miles away therefore this was a much needed facility and to make it even more attractive there is no charge for patrons, who can order freshly prepared snacks to eat while watching their favourite films or even have a ‘Pint and Popcorn’. The Book Exchange is proving very popular with new comfortable seating so that customers can sit and browse through the many books or the daily papers that are on offer, again without any charge. Added to this the Senior Citizens Luncheon Club that helps ensure that the more elderly residents have a tasty, nourishing meal at a price they can afford. All these facilities combine to help combat loneliness and social exclusion, making The Chequers the hub of the community.
LESSONS TO LEARN
- Local authority backing giving a kick-start to this project.
- Luncheon club providing a safety net for the more elderly residents.
- A Licensee with the vision and determination to make a difference by offering these facilities helping all ages to socialise.
- Generating a positive perception of the pub, through ‘Pub is The Hub’ supported by The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
- Total Project Cost £3,514
- Applicant contribution £1,764
- Norfolk C.C. Grant £1,750
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