A good local isn’t just a place to drink, it’s a hub for the community. That’s what Michael Dennehy and Shannon Beavis realised earlier this year when bushfires struck the NSW South Coast where they were visiting.
“Amongst the panic we all congregated at the local pub, where staff were providing updates and serving drinks to the patrons. We felt a real a sense of community support. It showed us the importance of these venues, and more importantly, the people that work for them,” says Dennehy.
Now, with more than a third of Australian hospitality jobs lost because of COVID-19, the couple decided to help the workers who spend so much of their time looking after us. They launched Cheers to Your Local, a fundraising site where people can buy the initiative’s branded t-shirts, hoodies and stubby holders. The profits from each order are directed to a bar, pub or club that the buyer nominates to support staff that may be doing it tough right now.
According to the website, more than 78,000 people work in pubs, clubs and bars in Australia. Even under normal circumstances, they work long and irregular hours for modest pay. Now, with so many venues closed or operating at limited capacity, Dennehy and Beavis are hoping Cheers to Your Local will give punters an easy way to support the local watering holes they’ve missed during lockdown.
“With all the pubs closed, it really brought home to us how much we enjoy coming together with friends and family at our local pubs, clubs and bars,” says Dennehy. With restrictions eased in NSW from June 1, you can finally now order a drink at your beloved local once more (while observing physical distancing, of course). So why not do it wearing a t-shirt that shows how much you missed it?