Brewer’s pints of generosity raise a glass of cheer for Surviving Winter campaign

By Anita Jaynes on 14 February, 2022

Brewer Wadworth has raised £1,000 in support of a charity appeal to help elderly and vulnerable people stay warm in winter through sales of a special beer.

Wiltshire Community Foundation’s Surviving Winter appeal, which has been running since 2010, is funding partners Age UK, Warm and Safe Wiltshire and both Swindon and Wiltshire Citizens Advice so they can provide grants of £200 and energy-saving or benefits advice to people in fuel poverty. Last year it raised £142,000 and helped more than 1,200 people pay fuel bills and save energy, as well as apply for other benefits.

The Devizes brewer donated 5p from the sale of Coconut Porter, a beer brewed for the festive season and sold in many of its pubs. Chairman Toby Bartholomew said it was important to the family firm to support the communities where it has pubs.

“Wadworth has supported the appeal historically and it has long been an aim of this company to put something back into the communities that support us,” he said.

“We recognise that this winter is particularly tough and we are proud that our pubs have really stepped up to help in their towns and villages. Supporting Surviving Winter is just an extension of that. It’s a wonderful appeal and we are delighted to continue working with Wiltshire Community Foundation.”

The porter, a dark stout-like beer with a mellow coconut flavour, came from a recipe by head brewer Andy Weaver. Toby, added, “We said before the launch that it was definitely going to be a bit of a Marmite beer – people will either love it or hate it, and that proved to be right.

“I don’t think people used it as a session beer, it was more something they were interested to try. We got a lot of interesting feedback though.”

Wiltshire Community Foundation joint chief executive Vicky Hickey said the brewer’s support was warmly welcomed by the charity. “We have been working with Wadworth since 1993 so we have a very long-standing relationship with them that we really value,” she said.

“They, like many other donors who have stepped up during this long, hard winter, have recognised that with rising energy prices and the long, slow squeeze on peoples’ finances from escalating food prices, more people than ever are being pushed into fuel poverty. And that’s before the energy price cap is lifted.

“We are really thankful for their generous support.”

You can donate to the Surviving Winter campaign at wiltshirecf.org.uk.