“Knock and Check” campaign launches with lunch for a WWII veteran

WWII veteran Peter Smoothy, 95, ran the Four Fathoms in Herne Bay for over forty years for Shepherd Neame. Peter lives alone and like many elderly men and women he can feel lonely and isolated. Shepherd Neame wanted to get involved with the Kent Community Foundation Knock and Check campaign and invited Peter to one of their pubs for lunch. A small act of kindness which is at the very heart of the campaign.

Josephine McCartney, Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation, said, “Figures from Age UK tell us that almost 30,000 people in Kent say they feel lonely all or most of the time Add to this the 1,600 avoidable winter deaths in Kent and we knew we wanted to do something to help our elderly neighbours across the county. We all witnessed the amazing community spirit seen during the fi­rst months of the pandemic and we want to reignite this feeling by asking the county to come together to knock and check on the most vulnerable during the colder months.”

The Knock and Check campaign is simple to get involved with.  Knock and Check on the elderly and most isolated in your local community and offer a moment of your time to be neighbourly; say hello, offer to do shopping or perhaps share something you have cooked. And if your neighbours need more help or support, Kent Community Foundation has a resource directory on their website listing help and advice that is available across the county.

WWII veteran Peter Smoothy said,

“Despite having family and friends there are times when I can feel quite lonely. I was absolutely delighted when Shepherd Neame invited me out today and it was so lovely to catch up with fellow veterans Jeff Haward MM and Donald Hunter over a wonderful lunch.”

Shepherd Neame’s Director of Managed and Tenanted Pubs Nigel Bunting said, “We were delighted to welcome our former long-serving licensee Peter Smoothy back to enjoy a Shepherd Neame experience on the other side of the bar! We were also honoured to welcome veterans Jeff Haward MM and Donald Hunter and provide a safe setting for them to socialise together.  Shepherd Neame has been at the heart of the Kent community for more than 300 years, so we are pleased to work with Kent Community Foundation to promote this fantastic new campaign.”

To find out more about the Knock and Check campaign visit www.kentcf.org.uk/knockandcheck

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