Donate a drink – and make a difference

Lewes Pound’s Donate-a-Drink Scheme has distributed over 11,000 Lewes Pounds to enable food bank clients to enjoy a treat and support local Lewes businesses at the same time. Lewes Pound co-ordinator Susan Murray explains how you can support the scheme.

Thanks to the generosity of local residents and the creation of the Donate-a-Drink scheme, over 11,000 Lewes Pounds have now been given out to clients of Lewes food banks, enabling them to spend on things they might otherwise not be able to – and support local shops and businesses in the process.


How Donate-a-Drink started

The Donate-a-Drink scheme began life in 2017 when a bequest of 500 Lewes Pounds by the late Colin Tingle (a member of Transition Town Lewes’s steering group), was distributed in envelopes to food bank clients.

These parcels of Lewes Pounds were so well received as a way of enabling people to treat themselves and others that the Donate-a-Drink scheme was born.


How it works

The Donate-a-Drink scheme allows local residents to support Lewes food banks by adding £3 to their bill at local participating businesses, including Depot Cinema, Café, Restaurant & Bar, Harvey’s Brewery Shop, The Seasons, Patisserie Lewes (now at Anne of Cleves House) and Cheese Please. These donations are then added up to be distributed to food bank clients across Lewes.

A generous grant to support the scheme was provided by the Aviva Community Fund. Further support has come from the Lewes Pound CIC using the profits from its online sales of collectors’ packs of Lewes Pounds.


Community impact

The Lewes Pound was set up to keep money in the local community. As well as putting small gifts of money into the pockets of those who don’t have spare cash to spend on small treats, Donate-a-Drink has channelled more income into a range of independent Lewes businesses that are signed up to accept Lewes Pounds.

We know from feedback that many recipients use their Lewes Pounds at Richards Butchers to buy good quality sausages or a steak; watch a film at the Depot, buy a pint of Harvey’s, visit Cheese Please or buy treats from the Riverside or the Needlemakers.


How you can help

The ongoing cost-of-living crisis has caused many people to draw in their horns and life is extremely tough for anyone struggling on benefits. The chance of a small treat makes so much difference to people’s lives. If you can afford it please think about requesting an extra £3 to be added to your bill when you shop at Cheese Please, the Depot, Harvey’s, Patisserie Lewes or The Seasons, or the Lewes Pound stall at the Lewes Farmers Market.  These small donations add up to make a big difference.

And if you’re a local business that would like to accept Lewes Pounds and/or join the ‘Donate-a-Drink’ scheme, we’d love to hear from you.

Contact me at for more information. Read more about the Lewes Pound and the outlets that accept it here.


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