The Prince Regent in Herne Hill is the latest pub to join a campaign to help older people feel part of their local community this Christmas.
Landlord Felix Pearce and his staff at the Dulwich Road pub joined fifteen guests over the age of 60 and volunteers from charity Link Age Southwark for a Christmas lunch.
The event was part of Heineken’s Brewing Good Cheer Campaign, which aims to get people who are lonely or isolated together and having fun by hosting free pub lunches.
The guests enjoyed a three-course festive lunch, choosing from Christmas turkey with all the trimmings, beef bourguignon and coq au vin, followed by chocolate brownie with pistachio ice cream, sticky toffee pudding or crème brûlée.
Link Age Southwark’s director, Ruth Driscoll, said: “We are so pleased to be part of this initiative to bring the local community in Southwark together.
“Participating in a lunch like this is a great opportunity for people to get out, meet others in a similar situation, have a laugh and get into festive spirit.
“And, what better place to hold a lunch than in a great pub like The Prince Regent which is a focal point for the community.
“Christmas can be a hard time for anyone especially elderly people if they’re lonely.
“We’re trying to strengthen our communities through volunteering.
“We’re crying out for drivers to take people places, as fewer people drive nowadays, so please do contact us if you can help, or if you want to volunteer in other ways.
“We’d love to hear from you.”
The charity was set up 25 years ago to help tackle loneliness among older people.
It now has 400 volunteers who befriend over-sixties with an hour’s chat each week and also hosts activities from singing, games and crafts across Southwark.
This year, in recognition of its work, the charity was awarded the ‘MBE of charities’, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
Prince Regent landlord Felix said: “Herne Hill is a bit like a village. It is a community spirited place to live and The Prince Regent sits at the heart of it.
“We provide a social place for people to come together, be it for a chat at the bar, a Sunday lunch, quiz night, WI gathering, kids party or art classes.
“We’re a warm and welcoming place and there’s always something going on.
“However, sadly some people don’t feel able to enjoy that.
“Social isolation is a terrible thing especially at Christmas time, so it is a lovely to join forces with Link Age Southwark, who do a great job, and offer people who might not normally come in somewhere friendly where they can be looked after, have a fun lunch and meet others in the community.”
To find out more visit: linkagesouthwark.org