Norwich pub to help homeless through its annual Valentine Beer Festival event

Trafford Arms landlord Chris Higgins is holding this year's Valentine's beer festival in aid of St Martin's Housing Trust. Pic; Steve Adams Trafford Arms landlord Chris Higgins is holding this year's Valentine's beer festival in aid of St Martin's Housing Trust. Pic; Steve Adams

Saturday, February 8, 2014
11:50 AM

Beer lovers might not be given the keys to the door when they attend a city pub’s 21st Valentine Beer Festival - but they just might help others get a roof over their head by helping to raise cash for a homeless charity.

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The Trafford Arms’ annual charity beer bonanza kicks off on Monday with regulars able to sample more than 80 beers and ales at the popular event which runs until Sunday<16>.

This year’s festival, which has the theme Hoppy Birthday, will see regulars at the Grove Road pub hoping to help raise as much money as possible for St Martins Housing Trust which works with the homeless in Norwich and Norfolk.

Chris Higgins, landlord, said the fundraising element of the festival has become an integral part of the event over the past two decades and represents what community pubs are all about.

He said: “Over the past 21 years thousands of pounds have been ploughed back into the local community by the pub. Last year the Magdalen Group’s Jigsaw Project was chosen.

“The Magdalen Group work hard to educate our young vulnerable children of the pernicious dangers of internet grooming, cyber bullying and sexting amongst other activities.

“This kind of charity, along with the work of people like St Martins Trust, highlights the close relationship between local pubs and their communities.”

Mr Higgins, who runs the pub with his wife Glynis, added: “Both Glynis and I feel passionately that pubs are very much an integral part of the lives of their local community, and in this turbulent difficult time pubs offer the kind of environment where many people can turn to for advice, help or just a listening ear. As is often said “the pub is the hub”!”

There is sure to be something for everyone among the ales on offer which includes a return of famous former Norfolk names Lacons of Yarmouth and S & P in Norwich both of whom will be represented at this year’s festival.

Beers on offer during the week include Blind Date from Hambleton, Bootleg Valentine from Coach House, Jack Valentine from Lacons and 09 Blonde from Otley. On Saturday night the Energy Function Band will be performing while there will be a fun quiz on Sunday evening from 8pm.

The Evening News launched its Love Your Local campaign to encourage people to support their local pub and events like The Trafford’s Valentine Beer Festival.

To find out more about the campaign or to see more stories log on to www.eveningnews24.co.uk and click on news then campaigns and then Love Your Local.

Have you got a story for the campaign? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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