Businesses in Portsmouth are able to ‘borrow a barperson’ from the Lawrence Arms while the pub is closed for repairs.
The Lawrence Arms, Southsea was badly damaged when a car crashed into the building last month. The landlady Alison Wearn has devised a way to keep her employees busy and support other small businesses with the launch of her ‘Borrow a Barmaid/man/person’ scheme.
Staff, including Alison and her husband Dev Wearn, the pub’s landlord and head chef, will turn their hands to hospitality jobs from a variety of businesses in and around Portsmouth. All labour will be free to recipients as the workers are still on The Lawrence Arms payroll. The only conditions are that businesses cover transport costs for the borrowed employees and allow them to wear their Lawrence uniforms.
‘For all the small, independent businesses like us, we’re going to offer our services for free to help them out. We’re doing that to keep the staff busy. We want people to use us. Effectively, we’ve got something like over 100 hours a week of pay rolled work that’s available for a good cause, or if someone needs a bit of help.’
‘We wouldn’t go and help a big chain, they need to be local obviously and they need to be realistic – it needs to be something within our abilities.’
‘We’re thinking pubs, restaurants, breweries, shops, cafes – anything in the hospitality world. Loads of people have offered to help us – like Irving’s Brewery who have taken in a load of beer for us – so it’s like us giving back a little bit.”
Eight workers are available over the next three months while repairs are under way.
‘I think they’re looking forward to going to some different places and having that experience somewhere else. And also, they’re very caring about the pub. It’s not just a job to them. They’re very appreciative of these other businesses that have offered to help us so much.’”
Staff are also helping with renovation works ahead of a planned beer festival style reopening event which will reveal a newly decorated interior.
Business who would like to borrow staff can contact the Lawrence Arms on 07522 495032.