Red Lion ramps up its community offer

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The Red Lion at Needham, near Harleston has opened a new accessible café in the pub with support from rural pub champions, Pub is The Hub.

Owners of the pub, Sue and Joe Massey have created a new social hub for their rural community to help combat loneliness and isolation. The café is open from 10.30am on Tuesday to Friday each week serving hot drinks and cakes and for people with mobility issues, it can be accessed by a brand new ramp into the pub.

The Masseys have been running the 19th Century Red Lion for eleven years in a family business that they run with their son, Michael. Alongside their thriving food and drink trade, the family have a large garden, a play area and run a campsite for visitors.

Sue and Joe met with Pub is The Hub regional advisor, Terry Stork to discuss their plans and discovered that they were able to apply for a grant towards the cost of changes to the pub through Pub is the Hub and Norfolk County Council’s Community Services Grant.

Sue Massey commented: “There is nothing else in the area for miles around and we wanted to provide somewhere for village residents to come during the day. Sadly many of them have mobility issues so a ramp into the pub was an essential part of the project. We are hoping to expand the range of food that we have on offer if the café is successful.”

Terry Stork from Pub is The Hub added: “Sue, Joe and Michael do everything they can to put the Red Lion at the heart of the community. They support local businesses and employ local people so a café for the community was the next obvious step. It will be a valuable village asset for those residents who don’t get out and about very much.”