Supporting local businesses, particularly pubs/inns & cafés, in their efforts to play a positive role in their local communities.

At the beginning of 2020, we targeted Tuesday 24th March 2020 as the date for the launch of this event, intending that it would be made through the release of a new Open Letter within a new (2nd) edition of our Second Brochure. That Open Letter, entitled 'Pub Challenge', will still be produced but, given that its main purpose/hope was and remains to support the roles that pubs/inns, cafés & and other businesses play in Society for providing meeting facilities for the Public, it would certainly not be appropriate to release that at a time when the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic has led to the closure of such businesses because of the temporary need for people to avoid each other. The idea behind this Event was and remains good but the timing was terrible! Nevertheless, although we have held back that new brochure, as reported in News Item #06 we went ahead with launching this event. That is not least because we have heard that some pubs are showing initiative that is appropriate to the current circumstances such as through providing (and sometimes delivering) food for take-aways. We intend to support that kind of initiative. More on this in due course!

This Event05 was set-up as part of our drive to support those community-support groups that are focused on such things as improving Community Spirit, Social Inclusion & Social Contact. The forthcoming Open Letter (referred to above) will give a little more on this. For the moment, we wish to draw attention to the following:
* We are concerned by the numbers of people in Society who feel isolated. People often think of the elderly when such matters are mentioned but isolation and loneliness amongst the young and the middle-aged is a huge issue which is likely to increase as more & more people work from home.
* We aim to support those pubs and similar places that do more than just provide a friendly welcome to strangers, for we hope that all those places do that anyway (even if only because of the commercial value of doing so). We hope to support those organisations that go out of their way to provide an attractive atmosphere not only for their regulars but also for those people who do not know any others there. That could be by:
   - providing dates & places where anyone may simply join-in and talk ('Talking Tables' at The Pandy Inn, Dorstone, and the 'Chatty Café' at Peterchurch Hub offer this sort of thing - please do let me know of other meeting places in the area that offer similar things); or
   - offering 'anyone can join in' sessions for darts, pool, boules, pétanque, or whatever.
* The current coronavirus crisis is proving that there are many people around who do rally around when there is good reason for people to come together. We hope to play a part not just in helping that develop further over the course of this year but also in keeping some of that good spirit going into the future.

Note from Peter (GVGI's founder and leader)
Is there a hidden agenda to this? Basically "No", for I have my own memories of loneliness when I was younger and am very keen to help with this issue, but there is also a "Yes" to this which I should own up to. One of the things that led me to start GVGI was the need to increase the involvement of Working Age People in local community-support groups. That was partly because many if not most of such groups rely too much on those who have retired and that can limit their scope. It was also because involvement with such groups can be a great way for people to find interesting things to do & good people to meet and even to achieve a sense of worth & fulfilment. That helping others who are less fortunate than oneself is a good way to boost one's own morale is certainly not a new observation. That does not mean that it is not true. So, how does one go about helping find a solution to the problem of loneliness? Many people have a nature that leads them to help others. They are great and probably need no encouragement from the likes of me. However, many perhaps most people need a bit of an incentive to do things for others. With pubs/inns, cafés & and similar businesses being in a good position to help the lonely, it seems sensible to try to help them to do so and obtain a reputational reward that should provide them with a financial reward. There you are. That is the not-so-hidden purpose of this 'Event'.