Knowles of Norwood – how a local pub supports health and wellbeing in the community 

There are so many stories of businesses and support groups in West Norwood and Tulse Hill supporting the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Over the pandemic, we’ve had the birth of organisations such as the West Norwood Coronavirus Support Group, who have helped pick up shopping, prescriptions, or medication for vulnerable residents. 

We’ve had companies such as Iceland, Superdrug, and London Decorator Merchants help make sure people still had access to groceries and supplies, and help organise deliveries. 

These are but a few examples, and the good work isn’t just limited to throughout the pandemic. We spoke to Knowles of Norwood manager JoJo Ferrari, who talked us through some of the work Knowles are doing, alongside why it was important for them to support health and wellbeing as a company.

“You see people every day”, says Jojo. “You don’t have to really know the person, you don’t even have to like them, but a struggle is a struggle, and helping them is always solely the right thing to do.”

“It’s so easy to get caught in a vicious cycle, and it really can happen to anyone, so it’s important to make sure you’re doing as much as possible for people.”

Knowles have run a variety of community projects, including their most recent, Hugs for Snugs. Patrons were given the opportunity to donate unwanted clothes and blankets, with all donations going to House the Homeless. Anyone who donated could receive a free beer.

“You were finding that people didn’t even care about the beer, they just had so much stuff and they wanted to help people.”

During lockdown, they offered takeaway roast dinners, with a pound from each donated to charity. 

They also do a lot of work with the Norwood & Brixton foodbank, acting as a drop-off point for food to be collected. 

“I’d been speaking to some of the volunteers there, and they said the need for it had gone up 300%. 

“The support for the food bank has been incredible here. We’re going to do a calendar throughout December where people can donate a specific item for the food bank each day. Quite basic stuff from like toiletries and period products, to food, powdered milk, washing detergent.

Speaking about the importance of helping the community, JoJo said that customer support inspired them to do more. 

“We have such good relationships with our customers, and that’s what makes us a hub. We didn’t use to be a hub when I joined five years ago, and one of the main reasons we’re a part of this community now, and we have such great customers, is because we do things like this. It’s really important to get involved ourselves, and get everyone else involved as well.”

Knowles of Norwood is located at 294, 296 Norwood Rd, Norwood, London SE27 9AF

If you’d like to read more on our Happier Healthier Workplaces project, you can find more articles here