A Chester bartending duo are helping some of the world’s most vulnerable children by raising money for War Child, the specialist charity for children affected by conflict.
Moved by news coverage of the ongoing Syrian conflict, Chester bartenders Calum Adams and Ben Iles set up Bartend against Bombs, a fundraising initiative involving hospitality staff, with all money raised going to War Child.
The pair initially reached out to fellow bartenders and waiters around the country, asking them to donate a month’s worth of their hard-earned tips to War Child. When a hefty £7,000 was raised, Ben and Calum decided to step up their game, organising events such as live music nights, cocktail competitions and footgolf, where countless hospitality businesses joined forces to fundraise for the charity.
Over two years, Bartend against Bombs has raised a staggering £18,000 for War Child UK.
War Child supports children affected by war in Yemen, Afghanistan, Iraq, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Central African Republic, and works with Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The charity supports some of the most vulnerable children through education, protection, livelihoods and campaigning.
Calum Adams, 26, who works at Barlounge and Hickory’s, said: “Last year we watched news coverage of the conflict in Syria and how it destroyed families and the lives of millions.
“We put our heads together and came up with the idea of raising a little money to help Syrian refugees in any way we could.
“We don’t have children, but firmly believe you can’t argue the plight of an innocent child in need, which is why we chose War Child.”
Since the war in Syria began in 2011, more than 400,000 people have been killed including up to 55,000 children.
More than five million civilians have fled, and more than six million people have been internally displaced.
Challenge and community events executive for War Child, Greta Lakatos, said: “This kind of funding will make a genuine difference to the lives of children affected by conflict.
“Calum and Ben have already achieved so much and we’re hugely impressed by their spirit and ambition to replicate this model across other bars and restaurants in the UK.”
Bartend against Bombs have several events coming up.
Ben Iles, 35, owner of the Marlborough Arms, said; “We’re getting ready for our big push in November for the annual ‘jar on my bar’ campaign and if any bars, hotels or restaurants want to take part – please get in touch with us and join us.
“We also have a festival planned for the August bank holiday in Telford’s Warehouse in Chester and we’re looking for support for this too – and you don’t have to be a bartender to help with this one.”
Visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bartendagainstbombs for more details.