When Brian Myall was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he called upon friends in his local pub for support.
And The Sunshine Inn, in Havant Road, Farlington, responded by putting on a series of events to raise money for the Portsmouth branch of Parkinson’s UK, which provides support for people like Mr Myall.
A horse racing night and a singing contest between Mr Myall – also known as Fred – and another customer at the pub, Gary Cross, helped to pull in nearly £1,000 to support the charity’s efforts.
Extra cash was raised through donations and a boxing match that Mr Cross took part in at Paulsgrove Community Centre, in Marsden Road, Paulsgrove.
Landlady Katherine Proietti, 57, and her husband Aldo Proietti, 58, have been in charge of The Sunshine Inn for two and a half years.
The Welsh couple said they didn’t think twice about helping out one of their most loyal customers.
Mrs Proietti said: ‘Brian has been a local at this pub for many years. He’s a really kind-hearted chap who would help out anyone.
‘Raising money for the Portsmouth branch of Parkinson’s UK was Brian’s idea and we were keen to do whatever we could to help.
‘He doesn’t need a lot of medical care at the moment but later in life he will and he felt like he wanted to give something back to the people who have supported him.
‘Brian’s spirit has lifted the pub.’
The Sunshine Inn is a prominent feature in the community.
Once a month, the pub holds a ladies’ coffee morning and every Monday an arts group meets in the function room.
Former employees of Queen Alexandra Hospital, in Cosham, also use the pub as a place to get together and have a chat.
Whenever community groups meet up Mrs Proietti always makes sure there’s a good supply of bar food ready for them.
Live bands often perform in the bar at weekends.
‘A lot of people think their local pub is a good meeting place,’ Mrs Proietti said.
‘We also like to make sure the older people are looked after. We want them to think that they can come here and have a chat with anyone about anything.’