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Chester bartenders raise thousands for national campaign for Syrian children

Calum Adams and Ben Iles are raising £10,000 as part of their #jaronmybar campaign for War Child

Chester bartenders Ben Iles (left) and Calum Adams are raising £10,000 as part of their #jaronmybar campaign for War Child(Image: Sam Ryley)

Hundreds of bartenders across the UK have raised thousands of pounds for Syrian children caught up in conflict as part of a campaign launched by two Chester bartenders.

Since the beginning of the month, Calum Adams, 26, and Ben Iles, 34, owner of the Marlborough Arms in Chester, have been running ‘#jaronmybar’ across more than 50 bars and restaurants over the country.

The pair, who set up ‘The Bartenders Against Bombs’ campaign last year after watching news coverage of the devastating conflict, have raised funds for millions of refugees fleeing war-torn Syria.

Last year, Calum and Ben donated a notable £7,000 for Syria Aid, a foundation delivering humanitarian aid to refugees in need, by asking bar teams across the city to donate hard earned tips for a month.

Chester bartenders take on national campaign for Syrian children caught up in conflict

Following the recent attacks in Aleppo, this year, the pair decided to raise a further £10,000 for War Child - the UK’s specialist charity for children affected by conflict - by launching the ‘#jaronmybar’ campaign.

Around 1,000 bartenders, waiters and managers across the country who took part in the campaign placed a jar on their bar throughout November, giving up their tips for the month.

Calum, a bar manager for Barlounge and Hickory’s in Chester, said: “With a few days left on the big campaign we are well on track to beat the £10,000 target, with some bars raising over £1,000 by themselves.

“Hard working staff in these venues have given up as much of their tip packet as they can to the cause, and are uniting to help communities of children around the world in need.

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“The number of bars and restaurants involved just pushed over 50 at our last count, but we keep adding more each week.

“The Marlborough Arms has raised over £1,400, Hickory’s Chester has over £750, Oddfellows has more than £450 and bars in Manchester and Leeds have raised over £200 each.

“This only shows how strong the connection is to help people within the hospitality industry.

“We are incredibly grateful to mostly minimum wage staff who have chosen to give up their tips for the cause.”

Chester bartenders Ben Iles (left) and Calum Adams are hoping to raise £10,000 for War Child(Image: Sam Ryley)

Since the launch of the #jaronmybar campaign, Calum and Ben have also raised money for the charity by selling t-shirts and hoodiess across the country and holding pub quiz nights and bar crawls.

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Callum added: “We have held pub quiz nights - with one alone raising just shy of £500 - and bar crawls, again keeping positive and fun is our main mantra.

“We have more events planned from now until the new year, with more cocktail competitions on offer and more cities to spread across.

“We have also been in contact with Chris Matheson MP who has endorsed the project and is looking into how we can raise awareness further.

“Education has been an important part of the project and whilst staying fun (as it is based around bars!) we wanted people to see what was really going on and why we should all care for everybody around the world.”

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