Tea and toast as Sudbury pub joins MUM campaign to combat loneliness

Ashley Coote and partner Gary Addison are organising a Meet Up Mondays event at The White Horse in S

Ashley Coote and partner Gary Addison are organising a Meet Up Mondays event at The White Horse in Sudbury. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A couple running a pub in West Suffolk are backing the campaign to combat loneliness via the “Meet Up Mondays” (MUM) network.

Ashley Coote and partner Gary Addison are organising a Meet Up Mondays event at The White Horse in S

Ashley Coote and partner Gary Addison are organising a Meet Up Mondays event at The White Horse in Sudbury. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ashley Coote and partner Gary Addison at The White Horse pub in Sudbury will start hosting regular get-togethers for people struggling with isolation from bank holiday Monday, May 7, onwards.

“There will be tea, coffee, toast and cakes, and hopefully we will get vulnerable people from the community to come in,” Ashley said.

“Loneliness doesn’t just happen to the elderly - you could be a single mum who is feeling lonely, We get customers who say, ‘I am lonely and that’s why I come into the pub.’ But some people don’t feel comfortable just coming into a pub, so this will help.”

Ashley said she was having pamphlets printed to let people know about the MUM events, and would be taking them round to doctors’ surgeries, the Tourist Information Centre and other places.


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“There has been a lot about the Meet Up Mondays campaign on social media, but not everybody is on social media.” She said the older age group might not use Facebook and Twitter so much, so the leaflets would spread the word.

Ashley is originally from Australia, but has lived in the UK for eight years. She said she and Gary had been welcomed by the community when they moved to Sudbury.

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“We were working in London and got the opportunity to take on the pub down here, and we thought we would come in and it would be easy, but it wasn’t at first.” However, she said the people of Sudbury had been really helpful and supportive as they settled in.

Now the aim is to support the community in return. “We want to give something back and to be able to help people,” Ashley said.

Pubs, tearooms and coffee shops across Suffolk are being encouraged to host MUM events, after the campaign was launched in January at the Alexandra pub in Wimbledon. Weavers tea room in Peasenhall was the first in Suffolk to hold an event, while The Norman Warrior in Lowestoft and The Bear Inn in Beyton, near Bury St Edmunds, are also joining the campaign.

For information on MUM, email sally.connick@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk or ann@ruralcoffeecaravan.org.uk or visit MeetUpMondays on Facebook.

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