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Raising the Bar: Guinness launches counselling and financial support helpline for those in the Irish pub trade

by Erin Lindsay
05th Nov 2020

NO FEE PIC PIC JULIEN BEHAL PHOTOGRAPHY GUINNESS RAISES THE BAR Guinness is announcing the establishment of the ‘Raising the Bar’ Helpline, a dedicated freephone support phoneline for pub owners, their staff and their immediate families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The service will be available 6 November and is being financed as part of the €14 million Raising the Bar fund established by Guinness this summer.Pictured at the announcement was L-R Liam Reid, Corporate Relations Director, Diageo Ireland,Denise White (The Patriots Inn) Patrick Kavanagh (The Patriots Inn) . More info contact [email protected]

Wet pubs in Dublin have been closed since the pandemic first hit in March

Guinness has launched a helpline for workers in the pub trade who have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis.

From tomorrow (November 6), pub workers and owners and their immediate families can call the Raising the Bar helpline to avail of counselling, emotional support and financial advice.

The helpline will be staffed by a team of counsellors, as well as financial experts, Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm. There are counsellors available to take calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ensuring that contact can be made at any time and any relevant follow up scheduled.

The pub trade has been one of the worst affected industries of Covid-19, as Ireland implemented one of the strictest hospitality lockdown measures in Europe. Dublin’s wet pubs, i.e that do not serve food, which account for 30% of the city’s pubs, have been closed since March.

50% of pubs throughout the rest of the country have been allowed open for only 3 out of the last 35 weeks. One in five publicans has borrowed as much as €30,000 over the course of the pandemic to cover staff wages and health and safety equipment.

The announcement from Guinness comes as part of their €14 million “Raising the Bar” recovery fund; a two-year programme established by Diageo earlier this summer. The fund aims to alleviate the financial and emotional pressures of the pandemic, and have also provided hand sanitiser and uniforms to pubs, as well as items to create weather-proof outdoor spaces and compliance training for bar staff.

Liam Reid, Corporate Relations Director of Diageo Ireland said: “During this difficult time, we know that publicans and their staff are worried, anxious and in need of practical measures to help them emerge from the longest hospitality lockdown in Europe.

The hospitality industry plays an essential role in the Irish economy and the impact of Covid-19 is putting a staggering 114,000 jobs at risk in the sector, equalling a massive 7.6% of Ireland’s total workforce.”

Donall O’Keefe, CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association commented: “Publicans across Ireland have now faced almost eight months of continuous closures and rolling lockdowns as we deal with the Covid-19 crisis, putting enormous pressure on them and their families. We have sought support from both our suppliers and Government and we welcome the further invaluable, practical measures that Guinness are announcing today as part of their Raising the Bar platform.”

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