At EPC-UK, we fully appreciate the challenges members of our team face as they adhere to the social distancing restrictions currently in place to help combat Covid-19.

Enjoying social connections can be integral to maintaining balanced mental health. So when our Head of SHEAQ, Bob Woolley, asked “what was keeping EPC-UK staff motivated at present?” during a ‘safety pause’ at the last online management meeting, full empathy was felt for General Manager – Blasting and Explosives, Ben Coppock, who answered, “Keeping in touch with friends and family”.
Finding a way to continue spending time with the people that matter to him most, Ben Coppock told the team about the ‘virtual pub’ concept he and his brothers had devised to help stay connected; naming the online meet-up venue, The Covid Arms.
Ben explained that he has two brothers who live in different parts of the country. Before the lockdown, they had arranged to meet up in Sheffield. Whilst the social distancing measures announced in March prevented the siblings from getting together, the guidelines did prompt the family’s first virtual pub night.
The brothers now meet at the ‘pub’ on a regular basis and the get-together concept has also ‘grown legs’ according to Ben, with more friends and family members meeting up at The Covid Arms in recent weeks.

“My brothers and I have a Sunday afternoon drink with our parents,” Ben explains “and spend Friday nights online with friends.


“With more people beginning to visit the ‘pub’ we’ve chosen to bring the video conferencing service, Zoom, into play, which enables any member of the group to open up the pub, regardless of where they are in the country.


“It is a perfect way of keeping in touch with people – and having some light-hearted fun – during the pandemic,” Ben adds.

Praising the online meet-up, Managing Director, Ben Williams supported the family’s efforts by saying:

“Keeping in touch with the people who matter to us provides many with valuable support to navigate the uncertainties of this difficult pandemic, where staying safe is the utmost priority.
“It’s encouraging to hear that Ben Coppock and his family are finding innovative ways to maintain their relationships online and stay positive, and safe – together, and I wish The Covid Arms continued social success.”