Community heroes

Winner 2016

Russell Clark. The Cleveland Bay, Redcar

The Cleveland Bay has opened its doors to everyone. We have a Young at Heart club with 80 members between the age of 50 and 90 who play bingo, quizzes, arrange days out and take advantage of our pensioners’ special menu. On Monday and Thursday nights we have a gamers club with 30 + member who indulge in Warcraft gaming. Local group Redcar Education and Development who provide help and support for people with learning disabilities visit on a regular basis and take part in line dancing, pool, dominos, darts and bingo and also enjoy lunch. On Wednesdays we have an afternoon and evening bingo with people of all ages playing. One of our local church groups come along for their monthly meeting and a couple of local outdoor bowls teams come for their tea after they have been playing. 

Click here​ to read his story.

Community Hero Award 2016 runner-up

Allen Watts. The Lunar Hare, Andover

We have taken our community care to beyond our immediate borders and have created a charity on a National level with The Lunar Hare as it's base. It is called Barefoot Challenge and I am an ambassador for the charity. I have had the logo tattooed on my foot and am completely barefoot for a whole year. I am known as The Barefoot Landlord throughout the county, have appeared on BBC South Today and am currently in talks with some well known Celebs to become Ambassadors too.

We support everyone we can locally and abroad and get the whole community involved, making The Lunar Hare a place people associate with giving. We're nearly at our 200 word limit and there's so much more to say!

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Regional winner

Jorga D'Ascencao. Crown Inn, Merthyr Tydfil

In today's modern world pubs are more than just private businesses selling alcohol. Yes, they are retail outlets selling alcoholic drinks, but they are also places for social interaction; many pubs play an important role at the heart of their local communities. This is certainly true of The New Crown Inn as it is more than a bar and restaurant. It has proven itself time and time again to be a community hub in a very real sense. 2015 saw us gain 1st place in Wales in the ei group ‘Community Heroes' Awards’, not for our sales or our business acumen but for our work in the community. We help the community celebrate at times like Halloween, bonfire night, Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and Easter by arranging events around these festivals here at the pub, often with international bands. 

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Regional winner

Natalie Coleshill. Milford Arms, TW7 4EY

This pub really is the hub! We have worked hard to attract every part of community in what is a very diverse culture locally, bringing the community together. We haven't just made a point of harnessing multiculturalism we also have looked to age ranges, backgrounds and sexes! We are involved in outside events working with the local college, council, residents associations, sit on the 'Friends of Thornbury Park, and regularly have the care homes in for various functions as well as working with the police and pub watch to promote social cohesion. We do this with charitable events, regular meetings, our own events, music and sport to name a few.

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Regional winner

Jacki Phillips. The Arion, Ainsdale, Southport

We organise everything we do to try to cater for everyone. This ranges from menu planning, internal and external decorations to annual events and fun days. Events are always affordable to attend. We offer kids eat for £1 twice weekly and many other offers to allow those on low incomes to eat out. Many of our family events include breakfast with Santa, Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter bunny, Halloween discos and they are free to attend. The Arion is a central meeting place for many of the Ainsdale community groups such as The Women's Institute, Ainsdale Pain Group, Scouts, Brownies, Book Club, Aintree Motor Circuit Club, Horticultural Society and 3 school PTA's to name a few! Other events we have hosted include summer BBQs, family fun nights, classic motor shows, Xmas fairs, Race nights, cake sales, coffee mornings and kids clubs.

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Regional winner
Regional winner

Regional winner

John McDonnell. The Broadway Hotel, Dunscroft​​​

Set in an ex mining area it is the only pub in the village that serves the community. We have an outside grassed area for family visits at the front of the pub with a large beer garden to the rear with childrens’ play area. We cater for all activities with an option to self-cater or we provide catering for all family functions and can also provide entertainment to suit the occasion. Children are permitted in the lounge area of the pub at restricted times which can be tailored to suit any occasion. Free WiFi is available and we show Sky Sports on 4 giant TV screens.

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Regional winner

Mark Hogan & Caroline Kimber. The Butchers Arms, Hepworth.

We are the only pub in our village, which does mean we have to be adaptable to various sectors of our village community. This means providing for families with young children, professional people and our older residents. We are open 7 days a week and serve food every day. We support our local brass band, our village football club, take in deliveries for villagers and support the village's annual 'Feast Day'. We display and sell local artists' work, without taking commission but instead asking artists to make a donation to our local hospice when they make a sale. 

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Regional winner

Charles & Tracey Leaver. The Chequers Inn, Laddingford

"Community" has been the heart of The Chequers for the past 22 years since we became landlords. Building from a poor reputation The Chequers has been the centre of the small village community of no more than 250 people from providing assistance to those flooded on Christmas day, to supporting the local residents and clubs.

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Regional winner

Martin Munns. The Fareham, Fareham.

We pride ourselves at the Fareham as being a Family Friendly Pub and will not tolerate any bad behaviour or bad language. This has made us become the choice venue for many local clubs. This includes all walks of life from the local motorbike club to a weekender's club which has 70 members who meet every Monday night. We also provide a meeting place for the local old people every two weeks. All of this is done at no charge. We also supply free tea, coffee and sandwiches. 

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Regional winner

Jim Woolley. The Hare, Linslade

The hare is recognized for miles around as a hub for social inclusion, running veterans charities founded at the pub. It’s an information centre for veterans and civilians alike, whether it’s advice on benefits, local tradesmen, food or financial help, or just a chat with someone that’s prepared to listen and understand. With its beautiful floral displays, grown by customers, quality real ales and warm winter fires, where else would you want to be?

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Regional winner

Mike Armitage. The Lion Brewery, Ash

There has been a lot in 35 years so here goes: Ash Music Festival, Rock N roll Bingo, Yard of Ale competition, Piano smashing competition, race nights, pram races, children's Christmas parties, sports days, Senior Citizens free Christmas dinners, remembrance day lunch, pigeon shows, Ash Fun day, charity head shaves, history walks, charity fun walk in fancy dress and many, many more!! The biggest community project we do is the Ash Music Festival, which we organise each year to raise money for local charities. We have been running these since 1986 so this year see the 30th year since the first one. We have raised well over £140,000 for local charities from the Ash Music Festival. 

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Regional winner

Adrian Emmett. The Lion, Treorchy

The Lion is the beating heart of the Rhondda as a whole, not just our town, and this was augmented this summer by our status during the Euros as #RhonddaFanZone.

Our success derives from our ability to diversify and appeal to a wide audience.  We hold 3 to 4 baby showers and hen parties a week and countless birthday parties.  Our afternoon teas are a massive success and as I write this, thirty members of the local Women's Institute are enjoying afternoon tea.   Investment in our outside areas has proven invaluable and The Lion is the place to be when the sun is out.  Our commitment is to offer good food and good service at affordable prices.  Hand- picking the best bands across South Wales has given us a great reputation for live music.  Investment in our 10 screen HD surround sound system has made us the first choice for any live sporting event.  And, to top it all, we serve a pretty good pint!

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Regional winner

Ed Lowe. The Plough Inn, Wellington, Telford

The Plough is well known for its charity work - Our Heroes (armed forces) and also others like Cancer Research, Air Ambulance and Alderhay Childrens’ Hospital. This year was the 7th annual Our Heroes event at The Plough. Our target was to hit £16,350 to bring us up to £100,000 in 7 years. So I’m glad to say that we achieved this; so far £100,060. We will continue to support all our brave women and men who serve us so loyally. Also we invited one of our local schools to design and paint on the pubs side wall, this was very popular with the locals. It was done to coincide with Remembrance Day. Our local royal British legion were overwhelmed. Myself and the locals helped run stalls for the poppy appeal in local supermarkets; a great success- lest we forget.

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Regional winner

Mark & Sally Bradley. Royal Oak Exmoor, Winsford

The Royal Oak Exmoor is the centre of the village of Winsford. It is the only pub and the only employer in the village with 18 local people working here, 10 full time and 8 part time. Looking over the village green, the Royal Oak is the focal point of the village and our Reception is manned from 8am to 10pm 7 days a week to give help, advice and assistance to residents and visitors. We also provide 24 hour access to the Village HeartSafe Defibrillator, important to a remote village so far away from emergency services.

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Regional winner

Alan Edmeades. The Woolpack, Buckingham

We have worked hard to make the pub a hub of the community, welcoming everyone into the pub - young, old, families - and becoming home to some great local community groups.

We enjoy getting involved with a variety of local community groups and projects. We work with a lot of groups, giving them space to use in the pub and supporting them in their activities. Several years ago we renovated a barn which was run down and made it into a function room, now known as ‘The Cote', this room is now used by many of the groups as it is a private space. 

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Regional winner

James Downey. The Woolpack, Shipley

The Woolpack is the only pub in the picturesque village of Esholt, once used as the fictional village of Emmerdale. As such it serves as an excellent community hub for villagers to meet and it is also a tourist attraction. However, the previous owners had alienated the customers and been rude to the coach parties, resulting in the villagers boycotting the pub and coach drivers warning-off their passengers. The result was that it had been closed for a number of weeks when we took over in February 2015. 

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Regional winner

Chris & Liz Shore. The Wortwell Bell, Wortwell

Since taking over The Wortwell Bell in September 2014 we have worked hard to make the pub a big part of the community in partnership with ‘Pub is the Hub’ and Norfolk County Council.  We have turned a little used area of the pub into a village shop, lounge and library.

We have a seat on Wortwell Parish Council and we are also on the planning committee for the Village Fete. 

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Regional winner

Bun Constantinou & Viv Barrett. Ye Olde Rose & Crown, Walthamstow

Being part of the local community is the key to the way we run our business.

Supporting local people and groups to make lives of local people easier underpins who we area.  We are the community pub and have been from the beginning. This is demonstrated in many different ways - fund raising, being a drop off/collection point for local produce, supporting outside events and activities, supporting and monitoring local people who are on their own.  

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