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!
The pub is home to many local groups, including chamber of trade, care groups, local Welsh political party, ex-servicemen gatherings, Welsh- speaking groups, local radio station, nursery, tennis society, mental health groups...
We sponsor two rugby teams, the county's veterans' rugby team, three pool teams, county pool league, two darts teams, football team and donated four football kits for the local boys club.
We transform the pub into a winter wonderland every Christmas with a Santa's Grotto, brass bands, choirs and hog roast. Around 600 kids get to meet Santa every year. This year there is no Christmas tree and parade planned for Treorchy because of a lack of funding by the council. Consequently, a group of local business people - including myself- has set up an organisation called ˜Treorchy First' to organise the Christmas parade and other town events. I have personally donated £2,000 and the town Christmas tree will now be outside the Lion.
As well as' Treorchy First', I am chairman of the local Pubwatch, and a leading member of the Chamber of Trade and town forum committee.
Previously we have raised over £22,000 for Huggard, Teenage Cancer Trust, Help for Heroes, and many other charities. The aim of this year's project was to raise £4,600 through Welsh Hearts to place 5 defibrillators around the community, 9 in total with other venues in the Pubwatch scheme.
Chloe Tutton is a local athlete representing Great Britain at the Olympics. Her single mother has attended all her races but simply did not have the funds to follow her to Rio. Along with a local group we raised £5,000 so that she could watch her daughter fulfill her dreams.
Standing out above everything else we do is The Lion Attendance Challenge. This scheme is unique in the country and is now in its fourth year. With the backing of the council we promote attendance for over 11,000 pupils in 39 primary and 5 comprehensive schools in the Rhondda. The pupils are rewarded each term with a ‘Golden Ticket' for excellence in attendance, which is exchanged in the Lion for 20% off the entire food bill and a gift bag, tailored to each specific age group. To date we have awarded 154 Amazon Kindles, 64 festival tickets, 1,600 ‘Golden Ticket' prizes, family weekends to Lego Land, teachers' parties, and over 16,000 discount meal vouchers for The Lion. I have personally attended and presented prizes in over 70 school assemblies, many with our mascot ‘Super Attender', who has his very own song and dance routine.
Our annual music festival is the highlight of the calendar attracting around 2,000 revellers with DJs in the beer garden and 5 live bands in the pub. This year we have replicated the event on Bank Holiday weekends, with three so far and a fourth in August.
One of our most impressive events has to be the Sixth Form Prom Night, where 200 glamorous pupils and 150 proud parents meet at The Lion before the students are chauffeured to Cardiff. Parents and pupils, alike, will remember this coming of age moment forever.
We are home to a new mothers group and have a deeper understanding of the struggles that new mothers face in our area. We would like to start a scheme where every new mother in the community receives a new baby hamper and support package from the Lion.
We have raised enough money for five defibrillators. We would use the prize money to buy another two so that the entire area is covered.
We are asked dozens of times a day to charge peoples phones and on a busy bar it is difficult to guarantee their safety. I would like to buy an airport style charging lockers that the customers and passers by can use for free.
We pay for the field charges and feed a local football team. They are in desperate need of a new football kit and I would use some of the prize money to pay for this.
My old primary school is in desperate need of computers and other equipment. I would spend some of the prize money on this, as well as fundraising we have planned next year.