A pub is offering drinkers a free pint in exchange for a pack of toilet rolls after it faced the threat of having to close its doors because of shortages caused by coronavirus stockpiling.
Now the initiative by the Jolly Roger pub in Gosport, Hampshire, has become so successful that staff are collecting toilet paper, handwash and other essentials to hand out for free to those in need in the local community.
Landlady Hayley Hood explained she issued the urgent plea on Facebook on Tuesday when she had been unable to source supplies for the pub’s toilets, meaning that she would have had to close her doors for health and safety reasons.
Her plea stated: “We need you! We as a pub are running low on toilet roll and we want to make a deal. If you bring us 4 toilet rolls we will trade you a Pint, A spirit or a glass of wine! Happy trading!”
I didn’t realise I would end up with 150 toilet rolls - my office looks better than an Asda shelfHayley Hood, landlady
The 38-year-old said the appeal, which includes handwash, had been so successful that she had set up a Facebook group to enable anyone in the area to ask for supplies if they are running short.
The mother of two told the PA news agency: “It just started off because we didn’t have any toilet rolls and I thought it would be something funny and add some lightness to the situation, but I didn’t realise I would end up with 150 toilet rolls – my office looks better than an Asda shelf.
“People are still calling me asking, ‘Can we still do it?’ and we will do it until this blows over and people stop panic buying.
“We have so much we are handing it out to anyone who hasn’t got any through a Facebook group we have set up supporting anyone in the community.”
Mrs Hood said the scheme had created a buzz in the pub, and added: “It is funny, it’s lightening the mood which is the response we wanted as there’s so much doom and gloom, so if people can laugh over the toilet roll situation that’s what we wanted.”
However, she said she was extremely concerned about the coming months for the pub and her 18 staff as she had already seen a 75% decline in customer numbers.
Mrs Hood said: “I am very worried, if I could swear I would, it’s the uncertainty.
“If we were told by the Government the pub would have to shut then we would look at insurance, but at the moment he (Prime Minister Boris Johnson) hasn’t done that but he has told people to avoid us – he has thrown us under the bus.”