We’ve been talking to some of our wonderful volunteers, to find out about the stories behind the work they do for the pub.
DAN is a local boy – he grew up in the village, moved away, and now life has brought him back; he lives in East Bergholt, just 3 miles away. I asked him about his memories of the pub, and why he volunteers.
“I trained to facilitate community efforts, and even live in a commune. I’m in awe that the little village I grew up in has won awards for community achievement – and it had nothing to do with me! I had to come and join in.
I’ve got some very happy memories of the pub – I’ve even slept upstairs! My favourite times were after the village pantos – with the pub really full, and everyone laughing.
It’s great to be behind the bar and serve my parents’ friends, or people I grew up with – to keep in touch. I love seeing people meet each other, and being happy. I even meet my parents in the pub – they love coming here! The décor, the improvements, the art work – it all helps, too.
I’d had lots of experience with catering, especially being a waiter, but I’d never pulled any pints before. That’s my favourite job in the pub, although I’m also happy doing Front of House or washing up. I just like talking to people! I’ve got a really irregular schedule, though; I rely on the email reminders, and love being able to sign up for a shift when I can.
Specifically, I like being the host. What’s great is being able to make a lovely experience for people – like giving a kid the right colour straw for their drink, or making sure two kids together have the same colour one, so they don’t fight! I like the reflected kudos of seeing Bentley pub people on a UK-wide twitter feed – it puts East Anglia on the map.
The pub makes me feel just a wee bit prouder of living just 3 miles from where I grew up. Bentley isn’t embarrassing any more!”