A person walks into a bar and says 'Help'
And the bartender hears them
One morning, in the toilet of my London office job, I had an idea. It was one that burrowed deep, it grew, it developed and has now become an obsession.
We’ve all been to pubs and enjoyed a few drinks, relaxed, had a laugh, been welcomed into the warm, friendly embrace of a boozer, but how many of us take the time to notice the people that work so tirelessly to let us enjoy ourselves?
Growing up in a house where my older brother suffers from long term mental illness, I’ve always had a huge interest in mental health. How can we stay healthy? And, if we aren’t feeling too good, how can we take a Lemsip mug for our mind in order to get back to peak condition?
These were questions that plagued me as I was standing in the toilet that morning, when I noticed a poster drawing attention to the fact that there was a trained Mental Health First Aider on site. I was immediately drawn to the practical nature of the idea, if you’ve stubbed your toe on a filing cabinet, the first aider comes with a splint and a plaster, if you’ve been feeling down, the Mental Health First Aider comes with an ear and advice.
Inspired by this measurable, feet on the ground approach to mental health I began thinking of my other job, working as a barman in The Queens Arms. I thought of how much that workplace could benefit from this training. So, I did what all great innovators do, I nicked the idea and called it my own!
The Compass Project is an initiative that involves training bartenders, in the north, south, east and west of London to become Mental Health First Aiders with Kelly’s Cause Foundation (an incredible charity that specialises in improving mental health support for hospitality workers). With 70% of hospitality workers reporting a stigma on mental health in their workplace, I knew we had to create an environment where people felt safe to take the first step and open up about their mental health. So, with Post Pieces, (an amazing charity that offers a creative approach to mental health) we are running arts workshops across London, inviting all the staff of these pubs to come along and dispel the stigma that surrounds mental ill health.
Once we have collected together this community of bartenders from across London and unearthed their stories and experiences of working behind the bars of London, we'll take all the pieces of art created in the workshops and devise a theatre show to explore pub workers' relationships with their work, their mental health and themselves.
If anyone is reading this and wants to get involved, give us a follow and a message on our instagram @the.compassproject to find out what we're doing next!
New openining hours.
Monday to Sunday 12pm to 10pm. Kitchen open 12.00 to 3.30 - 6.00 to 9.00
To view the current menu please check out our instagram
We can always find room for charming and friendly front of house staff, as well as moody but ever so talented kitchen staff. So why not drop us your email and we’ll be in contact.
And the bartender hears them
Buy three and get one free
Make a mix tape from vinyl, bring it in and we’ll pop it on.
Love this place. Great food, great staff, great service, great pub. Oh forgot to mention its GREAT! & dog friendly!
Amazing atmosphere, lovely staff and very good food.
Undoubtedly one of the best (if not the best) gastropubs in London. Amazing staff, very professional and always helpful. It’s such a great pleasure to eat here, there is pride and caring in every dish
Family friendly pub with great wine and food. Make sure you book a table for Sunday lunch. Areas to sit outside on a sunny day.
My second visit to this great little find. Definitely not disappointed! Good atmosphere, friendly staff, great cocktails and food. Hard to choose what to eat here as everything looks fabulous!