A NORTH Somerset pub is backing the police’s annual Christmas and New Year drink drive crackdown by offering revellers a free bus ride during the festivities (December, 2016).
The White Hart in Weston In Gordano is inviting people who come in for an evening meal, Christmas lunch or to its New Year’s Eve party the chance to leave their cars at home.
Mike Yeatman, who co-owns the pub and restaurant, which also includes a patisserie, with his wife Chris, said: “We’re keen to back the Avon and Somerset Constabulary’s annual Christmas and New Year drink and drug driving road safety campaign, Operation Tonic and are laying on a complimentary minibus for our customers to ensure they get home safely after spending time here at the pub or in our restaurant.
“The service, which offers local lifts back to central Portishead and Clevedon, is also available to customers at our tapas bar and restaurant, Venga in Portishead and we’ve called it the Venga bus, which people love!
“This is the second year we’ve run the service from the pub and in 2015 lots of people asked us if they could make a donation to our chosen charity in return for the free ride. We thought this was a great idea, so this year anyone who has a trip in our minibus can, if they wish, make a donation of any size to our chosen Christmas charity Changes Bristol.”
Changes Bristol runs 10 weekly mental health peer support meetings in Bristol. The service gives people suffering from mental health issues a place to talk about their feelings and the platform to take steps towards improving their lives.
Each of the meetings is run through the kindness of volunteers and users do not require a referral from their GP to attend.
Alison McDougall, Vice Chair and Trustee at Changes Bristol, said: “We’re incredibly grateful for the support and generosity we’re receiving from The White Hart. Donations like these go such a long way to ensuring that we can continue our mental health services, which so many rely on, especially at this time of year.
“As we’re a small charity, and in this current climate, it is increasingly difficult to receive any type of funding. We’d like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to those who make a donation this Christmas and we hope everyone has a festive season full of positivity and excellent mental health!”
As one in six adults in England suffer from a common mental health disorder, and are more likely to use community services, Changes Bristol has become increasingly essential in the areas where it operates.
Chris and Mike took on and renovated The White Hart in 2015 after it had been closed for two years.
Chris explained: “It was once a good village local. Sadly, for 10 years it suffered neglect. Gradually its custom ebbed away. In January 2013, it closed its doors and was empty for the next two years.
“We took the site on as a wreck in 2015 and have since invested significantly in the building and the business, and have now created a ‘destination’ or ‘go to’ food pub serving the three towns we sit between, as well as holiday travellers seeking refuge from M5 motorway queues. We are also ardent supporters of the local community and hopefully have helped rekindle some of that fondness people had for the pub.”
Chris and Mike, who also own and run the tapas bar and restaurant Venga in Portishead, and their 30-strong team wanted to create a unique experience for visitors and diners and have developed a unique, outside garden area that includes a large central tepee with fire pit, a rum shack and an open-air pizzeria kitchen.
For more information, please call The White Hart, which is on Clevedon Road in Weston In Gordano, on 01275 818702 or visit www.whitehartwig.com. Changes Bristol, which is based at Lawrence Hill in Bristol, please visit www.changesbristol.org.uk.