Four men with learning disabilities have converted a dilapidated summer house in the garden of their Waveney care home into a pub to help stave off cabin fever during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Before lockdown, Alan, Leon, Grahame and Craig would regularly go to the local pub and play bingo – something which they sorely miss.

With the help of their support team at the care home, run by national learning disability charity United Response, they transformed the old and unused space into a pub – which now features a well-stocked bar, a mini fridge and snacks.

They have named the pub ‘The Meadows’ and placed a Norwich City scarf out front in memory of their former housemate who sadly died of terminal cancer in 2016.

Philip Firman, service manager said: “Transforming the pub has been brilliant for the lads and the staff. It has been a really great distraction and gave everyone a common goal in replacing something that was being sorely missed. It was also a great and fitting opportunity to remember a close friend that is sadly no longer with us, and it offered a real sense of freedom at a time when so many restrictions were being put in place.”

The ambitious folk at the care home are already planning their next project – converting the garage into a mini mart and tuck shop for the staff and residents, complete with social distancing measures such as arrows and markings on the floor. Longer term, they hope to open it up to others living in their cul-de-sac and possibly beyond. Their ambition and aspirations during these uncertain times is just one example of how United Response is striving to help improve the lives of people with disabilities, to find out more visit

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