Chris Birdsell isn’t your average pub landlord. Along with running the Varsity pub in Harborne, Chris is chairman of the local “pub watch” which alerts police to incidents on the High Street, he’s on the committee for the Harborne Traders Association, Harborne Village Centre Partnership and on the committee for Harborne Carnival. He’ll know who to put you in touch with, and regularly opens up the pub for community events.
Harborne Village Centre Manager, Bob Flack, nominated Chris in the active citizen category for the Birmingham Local Hearts award, because he recognised the innovation he has for local projects and the ability to drive projects to their end. Chris recently started a local artists evening – allowing those in the community to showcase their work. He said he always has people coming into the pub asking for help, and often he will find ways to help the people help themselves – opening the pub in the evening for them to hold fundraising events and meetings, and putting them in touch with the right people.
Chris has been described as the eyes and ears of the community, and said his motivation has to be the people. Here’s his story.