Responsibility Community & Charities

Community and Charities

We are proud that our pubs and breweries are an integral part of their communities. For many the relationship has been longstanding; our oldest brewery in Burton was founded in 1834, and our brewery in Wolverhampton in 1890. At Marston’s we recognise that the relationship with our community is an essential ingredient for the appreciation of the distinctiveness our beer brands, and an essential foundation for our pubs.

We continually survey what our pub customers think of the service they have received. From these results we adapt our offering to suit local tastes and changing preferences. This dialogue with our communities is assisted by our pubs’ support for a range of local voluntary activities arranged by our customers and staff.

Our aim is for our breweries to remain the pride of their communities, and we are determined that it stays that way. Marston’s has a reputation for investing in its smaller regional breweries in Ringwood, Witney and Cockermouth, and the Company is renowned for respecting the provenance and history of its local beers. At Marston’s we understand that the value of these regional brands reflects the affection of their local communities, for whom they were often originally created.

long live the local

Long Live the Local

We support Long Live the Local – a nationwide campaign from Britain’s Beer Alliance. Backed by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the campaign celebrates the vital role that local pubs play in our communities, culture and national identity. It calls on the Government to cut high beer tax to help keep British pubs open.

Pubs are one of the few remaining public spaces offering a unique combination of great food, drink and atmosphere at the heart of the community. Watch a special video that celebrates the great British pub.

A recent study by the BBPA revealed nine in ten UK adults (89%) are pub goers. 63% said pubs bring the community together and 99% believe their local is a great place for celebrations and special occasions.

Between 2008 and 2013, the industry experienced the devastating impact of a five year increase on beer duty. In 5 years, beer sales declined by 24% in pubs, 5000 pubs closed and 58,000 pub and brewing related jobs were lost.

With half of all pub-lovers saying the number one reason they would reconsider a visit to the pub is higher prices, a rise in beer tax puts local pubs and their contribution to communities in jeopardy.

Found in modern cities, market towns, rural villages and everywhere in between, our pubs play a really important role at the heart of communities. They bring people together, offering a place to socialise. Our pubs often work closely with local businesses, providing essential services beyond drinks, food and entertainment and, they support local charities and fundraising efforts, too.

We’re proud of our relationship with local communities and we’re dedicated to bringing people together in the great British pub for years to come.

The Long Live the Pub website has more information on the campaign, details on how to write to your local MP and allows you to sign the petition to cut beer tax.

Events at our breweries

Our breweries participate in local events and host many themselves on site including:

  • St George’s Day festival
  • Beer festivals
  • Carnivals
  • Macmillan coffee mornings
  • Family fun days
  • Christmas carol concerts
  • Community Involvement Beertown Brewery Bash
breakspear gold car more wychwood events more ringwood events
wolverhampton beer festival jennings events wychwood events
ringwood events
hobgoblin taste nations
pedigree
burtons dragons tail
Wychwood’s Grand Lighting of The Pumpkins

Wychwood’s Grand Lighting of The Pumpkins Event!

Wychwood Brewery annually hosts the ever popular Grand Lighting of The Pumpkins event to celebrate All Hallows Eve.

Welcoming over 1,000 guests through the brewery gates, this year’s event proved more popular than ever before and was host to some amazing Halloween fancy dress costumes by both the kids and the adults! The bar was in full flow from the beginning right to the end, and guests were able to sip on Hobgoblin or Hobgoblin Gold, with some Witches Brew and Frog Slime for the kids.

The brewery was full of ghouls and goblins and they were all kept on their feet dancing the night away to music from local bands and Morris dancers. The night is full of spooktacular activities and visitors are able to get their faces painted, have their fortunes told, listen to the tale of the Hobgoblin in the gory story corner, try their luck on the Wheel of Misfortune and test their Aunt Sally skills!

Community Heroes Week 2019

We can be Heroes

The second national Community Heroes Week took place from 29th April – 6th May. Encompassing fundraising activity from Wolverhampton head office, Burton Brewery and pubs from across Marston’s Pubs & Bars and Venture, this aimed to be the biggest fundraising event yet. 418 pubs were nominated to take part and format leadership teams were challenged to help drive the calendar of activity at head office. In addition, Taverns regional Ops teams organised their own fundraising activities in support of charities of their choice.


Car wash

Head Office Activity

Marston’s House was a hive of activity all week with the FLT teams hosting a range of events to raise money for our local pubs charities. On Monday the Urban team held a carwash, offering a full valet service.

On Tuesday, team Venture held a bake sale and quiz, as well as the grand raffle being drawn in the afternoon – top prizes included VIP tickets to the O2 courtesy of Budweiser, Premiership Football tickets from BT Sport and the usual array of alcohol.

head office activities

In addition, we were supported throughout the week by Diageo and their Pimms bar, Fentimans, Funkin Cocktails and Beer Co. not to mention the generous donations from many of our suppliers to ensure the grand raffle was as appealing as ever. Over the course of the week, we raised an amazing £4,887.

The Customer Services team in Burton held a raffle, raising £500 for two local charities N.E.T. Patient Foundation and St Giles’ Hospice, as well as another £250 which was contributed to the central fundraising pot.

In recognition of the contribution of every member of staff at head office during Community Heroes Week, a portion of the money raised (4 x £200) is going to be donated to local Wolverhampton charities. We will shortly be asking anyone who works at head office to nominate a charity that they would like to be considered for this gift.


BBQ

Great Locals ran some pub games tournaments on Wednesday as well as selling traditional pub cobs and snacks.

Despite the pouring rain, the Toast team held a BBQ and sold a fantastic array of burgers as well as some tasty mocktails and delicious desserts on Thursday.

To round off the week, the Village FLT teamed up with the Crown at Albrigthon to hold a BBQ and beer and cider festival with live music on the Friday.

In addition, we were supported throughout the week by Diageo and their Pimms bar, Fentimans, Funkin Cocktails and Beer Co. not to mention the generous donations from many of our suppliers to ensure the grand raffle was as appealing as ever. Over the course of the week, we raised an amazing £4,887.

The Customer Services team in Burton held a raffle, raising £500 for two local charities N.E.T. Patient Foundation and St Giles’ Hospice, as well as another £250 which was contributed to the central fundraising pot.

In recognition of the contribution of every member of staff at head office during Community Heroes Week, a portion of the money raised (4 x £200) is going to be donated to local Wolverhampton charities. We will shortly be asking anyone who works at head office to nominate a charity that they would like to be considered for this gift.


Regional support1 Regional support2 Regional support3

Regional Support

Regional teams also organised various events to raise money for their chosen charities:

  • Venture North – 26.2 mile walk through the Lake District raising money for the Cumbrian Air Ambulance - £1,356
  • Venture South – 11 mile walk dragging a firkin along the tow paths of the West Midlands for Stand up to Cancer - £1,195
  • Team Toast – a cycle ride from Marston’s Head Office to the Malt House in Thornbury in Memory of Fight for Lee’s Life - £1,266
  • Team Franchise West – a car wash at the Moreton Arms for Compton Care - £200
  • Team Franchise East – a series of activities over a weekend including auctions, quizzes and entertainment to raise money for Trust in Ted - £5,316.60
  • Team GL South West – a day volunteering at the Wildside Activity Centre, Wolverhampton

Pub Engagement

Events took place across our estate, with pubs sharing their photos and stories on our Community Heroes Facebook page. Once again we have found it a challenge to get pubs to report on how much they have raised. So far, we have had 36 pubs confirm that they have raised a total of £30,000. Combined with our head office and regional fundraising, our total currently stands at £45,000.

Regional support1

As with last year, most of the money raised at head office will be donated in support of charities local to our pubs. Via the Heroes of the Community Facebook group, we ran a series of fun competitions, getting the pubs to tell us about their fundraising activities and take part in silly challenges to win some money for their chosen charities.

Where has our fundraising money gone?

Compton Care £300.00
Georgina Unit @ Russell’s Hall Hospital £250.00
St. Mary's Nursery £250.00
Autism Directory & Side by Side £100.00
National Autistic Society £250.00
LimbBo Foundation UK £350.00
Clatterbridge Cancer Charity £250.00
Bella & Brave animal sanctuary £250.00
Cancer Research UK £250.00
Old Hall School £250.00
Birmingham Children's Hospital £100.00
Lee's Fund £250.00
Cumbria Air Ambulance £250.00
Stand Up to Cancer £250.00
Trust in Ted £400.00

Pub is The Hub

Each year Marston’s makes a substantial financial contribution to the charity Pub is The Hub to help pubs in small, often rural communities, adapt and survive changing economic pressures. The charity helps pubs offer additional services to their communities such as shops, play areas, postal services and libraries www.pubisthehub.org.uk.

Head office

In 2019 we packed an incredible 400 hampers to deliverto pubs running events for vulnerable members of the community this Christmas.

hampers

Wolverhampton Business Champions – Promoting Wolverhampton

The Wolverhampton Business Champions group was set up to promote the City as a great place to invest, work, live and visit. The group is comprised of ten large strategic businesses with their head office, or key operations within or close to Wolverhampton, including Marston’s, Carillion, JLR, MOOG, and House of Fraser which employ collectively close to 70,000 people in the UK, of which over 5,500 are in the Midlands. The group works with key stakeholders, including the City Council, West Midlands Police, the Black Country Local Enterprise Partnership, local and national politicians to raise the profile of the city nationally.

Wolverhampton Business Improvement District

Marston’s has actively supported Wolverhampton’s city centre management for a number of years. As a company with its head office in the proposed Business Improvement District (BID) Marston’s has plays a role in its delivery. BID is a government vehicle to ring fence rates income for local improvements with the BID geography. The BID works to deliver enhancements to the city centre making it more attractive and vibrant for customers and city employees. The BID is managed by the Wolverhampton BID Company Ltd which Marston’s actively supports.

Case Study: Wolverhampton Youth Zone – The Way

Marston’s is a Founder Patron of the Youth Zone in Wolverhampton (“The Way”) situated close to our head office and opened in January 2016.

The Way offers recreational, sports and developmental activities for over 2,000 young people who live in and around the City. It is a breath taking, modern, purpose built building full of state of the art equipment aimed at inspiring young people and assuring them of the importance of their role within our community.

This year we have expanded our engagement with The Way by involving ourselves in their Get a Job Week programme, and their Inspiring Futures project involving young people aged 13/14.

The Inspiring Futures Project was aimed at young people:

  • identifying their own skills and abilities
  • developing their understanding of enterprise
  • knowing what it means to be employable
  • working out what motivates them
  • understanding the benefits of applying themselves to learning
  • developing key transferable skills including self-management, teamwork, communication, creativity, decision-making and negotiation

At Marston’s we have such a wide variety of roles and different working environments, The Way felt putting on a ‘place to work’ showcase for the students from Our Lady & St. Chad’s School in Wolverhampton, would be a great way to inspire the students. Marston’s House, our head office, is not a typical working environment, with open plan working, hot desking in beer barrels and table tennis competitions at lunch time, the students saw a different and more interesting side of what working in an office can be like.

At Marston’s we are known for our breweries and pubs. The Marston’s Talent Academy offers all the facilities of a pub, a training cellar, and kitchen and board room! Dave Mann, our Talent Academy Manager, ran a chef competition for the students to inspire them into possibly working in a pub kitchen one day. The “Create and make your own pizza” competition began, the students had great fun designing their savoury, and sweet, pizza’s, giving them a memorable name, making them with an array of ingredients and of course, eating them for lunch, and dessert! We were so proud how the students put all their efforts into making the best pizza, it was a superbly engaging and inspiring session, complete with chef’s hats and aprons, the menu development kitchen was buzzing with energy and lots of ‘Yes Chef’s’! At the start of the session, no hands were raised when Dave asked if anyone was interested in cooking or cookery programmes, by the end, half the group had their hands in the air and were clearly inspired into our industry – Dave’s words, “I expect to see you in two or three years’ time”, was met with nods of agreement by the students!

Marston's Charitable Foundation

As in previous years Marston’s Charitable Foundation has matched funds raised by our pub staff. The Trust continues receives donations from Head Office events (“give back days” including fire-walking, cake sales, raffles and auctions) and directly from employees through their voluntary salary credit.

Events in the past undertaken by our pub teams and their loyal customers include: marathons, walking from Lands End to John O'Groats, walking the 100 mile Cheshire ring canal path, pig racing, raffles, tombolas, and fancy dress parties.

Marston's Employee Charity Fund

Marston’s also operates an employee charity, supported by contributions from the company, which each year donate to various good causes.

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