The Bevy is a community pub in Moulsecoomb, Brighton. We are the UK's only community pub on a housing estate.
Since the first lockdown we've been delivering Bevy Meals on Wheels to vulnerable people in our community, teaming up with local schools, churches, charities and more to make sure everyone who needs regular hot meals gets them. When The Bevy closed to the public back in March 2020, a team of our dedicated volunteers and staff decided they would cook and deliver hot meals 3 times a week to ensure that none of the elderly attendees of our lunch clubs went hungry.
We have now delivered over 8,000 meals and are currently supplying over 200 meals per week, having expanded the service to local families and anyone who is isolated. One major concern when launching Bevy Meals on Wheels was how we would be able to afford it. Once we told people what we were doing, we were overwhelmed with the response. It has been extraordinary to see the generosity of so many people supporting us. We are also incredibly grateful for the support from foundations, trusts and other groups and, of course, to our Bevy team and the very many volunteers who have been cooking and delivering food throughout this lockdown.
Most of the meals have been made with surplus food which would otherwise have gone to waste, supplied to us by the local branch of the charity FareShare. Local academy BACA made their superb catering facilities and a professional chef available to us and worked with our Community Chef to cook, chill and freeze hundreds of meals for people to reheat at home. Other donations came from our volunteers, including delicious puddings every week from the Friday Friends lunch club.
We are a community pub through and through, so as well as delivering meals we've been getting involved with our community as much as we can throughout the pandemic – from an outdoor lunch club for elderly local residents and being a work of art for an art trail, to hosting sewing marathons and working with students with special education needs, developing a catering traineeship to help support them into paid employment.
Somehow, between all of this, we were nominated for a Great British Pub award and also managed to completely refurbish the pub!
Bevy Meals on Wheels will continue as long as people in our community need it, and that looks to be for the foreseeable future. We’re proud of how we’ve worked together through a global pandemic to make the most of the huge spirit in Moulsecoomb and Bevendean and make sure no one in our community is forgotten.