Two borough pubs are helping to combat loneliness during a month-long "Feb-BREW-ary" campaign.

The Blue Bell in Bury and The New Grove Inn, Whitefield are taking part in a campaign launched by pub chain Joseph Holt in an effort to tackle isolation.

The brewer says it wants to raise awareness of the roles pubs place in tackling loneliness and bringing people together by providing a space for community activity through social and support groups.

The historic Manchester-based family brewery operates pubs across the North West – and is known for producing award winning ales.

However, it says another brew, the "faithful cuppa", is central to the many community meetings which take place at Joseph Holt at its pubs.

Bury Times: The Bell Inn, Bury

These range from bereavement sessions to Alzheimer’s and menopause support groups as well as knitting groups, chit-chat groups and even church services.

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The New Grove Inn holds keep fit and walking group as well as a recipe club and The Blue Bell in Bury runs a weekly chit chat group.

Meanwhile, across the borough border, The Doffcocker in Bolton boasts a railway club and a walking club and the Mosely Arms in Breightmet holds weekly church services.  

Joseph Holt marketing manager Paul Longmire said: “As an independent business which has been in the same family for six generations, Joseph Holt has always believed strongly that pubs create a sense of togetherness.

“Our pub managers are constantly looking at ways to bring people together, fight loneliness and provide warm, lively, and uplifting places to meet.

“So, although we are known for the award-winning ales we brew, the idea of coming in to have a different type of brew – namely a cuppa – is vitally important too. That`s how we came to launch Feb-BREW-ary.”

This year Joseph Holt is celebrating its 175th anniversary. To mark the occasion the brewery is aiming to raise £500 000 for The Christie hospital in Manchester with many pubs involved with fundraising.

Bury Times: New Grove Inn, Whitefield

Mr Longmire added: “Pubs are the perfect community hub, providing an informal setting in which people can meet, network, socialise, make friends and ward off loneliness. Where there is a pub there is a community.

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“And given the many pressures people face, it`s more important than ever that Joseph Holt offers somewhere that the community can come together to enjoy company, support, and social gatherings.

“That`s why we are using our Feb-BREW-ary initiative to let people to know that we are somewhere we brew up as well as serve our famous brews.

"And that thanks to a Joseph Holt pub they need never feel alone.”