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New virtual pub keeps community connected during pandemic


A new virtual pub is helping keep a Warrington community connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Co-op Member Pioneer and store manager David Appleton has created a virtual version of his local the Albion Arms on Battersby Lane, which called time in March and has remained closed ever since. He made the call to create a Facebook group for all its local customers, which is now going from strength to strength.
David, who supports community initiatives as part of his role for the retailer, now sees 270 regulars at ‘The Virtual Albion Pub.’ Every week, the group enjoy a games night with bingo, a quiz night, a comedy night, live music and even a DJ every Friday, broadcasting live from his own home.
On the initiative, David said: “The pub really brought all my neighbours together. As lockdown measures came in, I wanted us to have a place where we could all still catch up. It’s been a great success too – we’ve got a waiting list of 40 people wanting to be a contestant on games night!”
As well enjoying the show from home, members are also sharing problems or calling out for advice as part of the group chat.

David added: “For some of us, the pub was our one chance to connect with each other. It felt especially important to keep that up, as the need to self-isolate keeps some people in their homes.”
Russell Gill, head of co-operative & local engagement at Co-op said: “We’re beyond proud of what David’s doing in the community. Co-operation is an important part of everything we do, and this is a great example.”
Member Pioneers and Member Pioneer Co-ordinators engage with people across their local community to find out how they can help make a difference. They work for the Co-op to bring together members, colleagues and local causes, to make their community a better place to work, play, live and learn. For more information, visit: coop.co.uk/member-pioneers


About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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