There’s plenty of community spirit at the Derby Arms, as plans are put in place to work with local charity, OJ’s Care by hosting a number of events for the cause this year.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with a great, local charity; we’re inspired by the work of OJ’s founder Lisa Donoghue and the volunteers at the charity and really want to help raise money and awareness,” said Jay Bain, general manager at the Derby Arms.
OJ’s is a registered charity that aims to provide activities for children with autism, learning difficulties and associated disorders.
Lisa Donoghue set up the charity after experiencing problems with accessing mainstream and public areas with her son, Oliver, who has autism.
She said: “I would find that some people would not have patience with Oliver and this would cause upset in our family.”
Deciding to tackle the issue, as well as to help other parents with similar issues, she set up OJ’s, offering family days and activities at various locations across the Ribble Valley and Longridge area.
Lisa and a team of volunteers now work tirelessly to provide a non-judgemental environment in which families, siblings and loved ones can enjoy themselves.
Lisa added: “I had lunch recently at the Derby Arms and was delighted with the food, atmosphere and staff.
“The venue is ideal to host afternoon tea and fundraisers for the charity, and is a great place for mums, grandmas and carers to meet and talk about their experiences.
“I’m really looking forward to putting some dates in the diary and working with the Derby Arms, we’ve lots of exciting events planned.”
Charity buckets will be placed in the restaurant so customers can also join in with fundraising efforts; any donations and the amount raised will be updated on a chalkboard regularly.