Charities and grass-roots sports clubs stand to lose millions of pounds as a result of pubs being ordered to close for 12 weeks to control the spread of coronavirus.

PubAid, which promotes charity and community work by pubs, estimates that charities could lose £25m that would ordinarily be raised or donated by pubs over the next three months, while grass-roots sports organisations could lose up to £10m.

But the group said many pubs were finding other ways to support their communities, such as delivering meals to those unable to leave their homes, providing free meals to pensioners and acting as coordination hubs for local community support for vulnerable residents

PubAid co-founder Des O’Flanagan said: “Pubs may have been closed for more than three months, but they’ve remained at the heart of their communities by supporting local people, especially vulnerable ones, with a range of initiatives. By ‘Pivoting’ into village stores, delivering hot meals to elderly or isolating residents, and keeping people socially connected through online quizzes and chats, pubs have really shown themselves to be a force for good in their communities.

“Now that a day for reopening is set, we hope that the great work by so many licensees during lockdown is rewarded by loyalty from the communities they helped, and that their pubs are as busy as they can be while obeying social distancing guidelines.  Let’s hope too that this marvellous ‘pub garden weather continues once pub gardens can open.

“At the start of lockdown, we estimated that charities and grassroots sports would face a shortfall of around £35 million from the three-month closure.  Many licensees found ways to continue supporting charities, replacing fundraising activities in the pub with online ones, but we’re sure that charities and worthy causes will be happy to see pubs open again.”

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