A pub in Welling will be launching a free soup kitchen to give back to the community despite the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.  

Operators of the Guy Earl of Warwick Ray Irwin and Bonnie Tarleton said they are aware of the cost-of-living crisis but want to give back to others who have supported them since they opened in February 2022.  

People who are struggling during the winter will be welcomed with a free cup of soup or a hot drink in Bellegrove Road. 

The scheme will start on November 28 from 10am until 1pm and will continue every day throughout the winter season. 

Ray and Bonnie first thought of the idea two months ago after attending the Great British Pub awards.  

They were inspired by other pubs across England that have launched a similar scheme.  

Ray explained: “We have heard from so many people on how they are struggling.  

“It’s much more difficult in the winter if you don’t have a roof over your head or don’t have constant heating on.  

“It’s important to us as we are a pub that is built around the community and our success all comes down to them.  

“So, we just want to help and give back if people are struggling during this winter season.” 

Ray and Bonnie have noticed an increase in the cost of products that were being delivered to the pub and a rise in energy bills.  

However, they do not want the crisis to affect them in giving back to others in a time of “struggle”.  

Ray said: “We’re all about getting people together and we know about people’s concerns as we are in touch with them every day.  

“Yes, there is a rise in stock prices and staff wages, but we don’t want this to stop us from giving back.  

“It’s more about what the community feels and not how we feel.  

“They are our number one priority.” 

The aim of the soup kitchen is to give people a chance and help with their struggles for a couple of hours.  

Ray and Bonnie believed that pubs are an “important” part of the English culture where people get together and form a bond. 

They now urge the hospitality sector to try and give back to the community, if possible, as a way of supporting them in a time of crisis. 

The Guy Earl of Warwick will be planning more schemes during Christmas, including a free meal for the elderly.  

Ray explained: “Although we are a business at the end of the day it is also important to remember that we have a wider responsibility. 

“It’s a chance for us to say thank you for supporting us since our opening and playing a major part in our success." 

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