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NewsAwardsPub recognised for community support during lockdown

Pub recognised for community support during lockdown

The Old Courts in Wigan is one of just 10 pubs from across the country to reach the finals of the Community Pub Hero Awards, organised by PubAid and the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and sponsored by Matthew Clark.

The competition was created to recognise the great work done by pubs since the first Covid lockdown in March last year, who have gone above and beyond to support their local communities, despite facing uncertainty themselves.

The team at the Old Courts, led by licensee Rebecca Davenport, delivered 700 food parcels to local people in need, and a further 10,000 packed lunches to children during school holidays. They also made over 900 phone calls to isolated residents.

The pub supports a number of local arts and music community projects so during lockdown they also collected unwanted musical instruments for children who wanted to learn but couldn’t afford an instrument – a great way to turn lockdown into a learning opportunity for youngsters. Other groups helped by the Old Courts include the Wigan Autistic Theatre Company, School of Rock and Over-50 Jammers.

Nationwide, 115 pubs entered the Community Pub Hero Awards, the majority nominated by their local MP. Entries were judged by a panel of industry experts and the overall Community Pub Hero will be announced later this spring.

PubAid co-founder Des O’Flanagan said: “Our heartfelt congratulations go to the Old Courts. Landlords and landladies and their teams have offered invaluable support for communities during the pandemic, whether offering vital supplies for residents, cooking hot meals for the elderly or countering social isolation through online quizzes or chats. Choosing the 10 finalists was a real challenge for the judges, as every pub who entered had a strong story to tell. Those who have reached the shortlist should be very proud of their achievement.”

Richard Hayhoe, Marketing Director, Matthew Clark added: “We were delighted to support this competition and pleased with the response from pubs and the many MPs who nominated a ‘hero’ in their constituency. The fantastic work done by so many licensees and teams during the lockdowns and periods of restricted trading over the last year have provided a vital lifeline to countless people, and prove that pubs are genuinely a force for good in their communities.”

Mike Wood, MP for Dudley South and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group said: “These awards have been a great opportunity for MPs to celebrate how landladies and landlords in their constituencies have stepped up to the mark to support their community during the pandemic. Yet again we have seen that pubs are the antidote to isolation.”

This is the third year for the competition, which was reshaped and renamed this year – it was formerly Charity Pub of the Year – to focus on community support rather than traditional charity fundraising.

THE FINALISTS

The Angel & Crown, Richmond
The Bevy, Brighton
The Bowgie Inn, Crantock near Newquay, Cornwall
The Clifton Arms, Blackburn
The Horse & Jockey, Melling, Merseyside
The Mowden, Darlington
The Old Courts, Wigan
The Orange Tree, Baldock, Hertfordshire
The Portobello Inn, West Kingsdown, Kent
The Portsmouth Arms, Hatch Warren, Basingstoke

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