Community Pub Hero Winners Announced for 2024

The Community Pub Hero 2024 winners were announced at a prestigious awards ceremony at the House of Commons on Tuesday 5 March.

By Abi Owers, Contributor, PubAid

07 March 2024

24 finalists gathered with their MPs and peers to come together to recognise the incredible impact that the pubs have on their communities.

From 1000 entries into PubAid’s Community Pub Hero Awards 2024, 24 were shortlisted as finalists and 12 took home trophies presented by the Minister Of Hospitality, Kevin Hollinrake.

Now in their fifth year, the 2024 awards were the biggest and best by far. The volume and quality of the entries made it incredibly difficult for the expert panel of judges to shortlist. Two extra categories were added and regional winners in Scotland, Wales and Ireland were also introduced.

It was a special and emotional night for all guests as the winners were recognised for the great work they do within their communities, whether that’s via fundraising for local and national charities, supporting grassroots sport or helping to protect the environment with sustainability initiatives.

One of the winners, Bridget Manley, who was nominated by the landlady of the Blue Ball Inn, Worrall, said: “We never thought we’d win. We just do what we do because we love our village and we have an outstanding pub. So many people in our village do so much and we feel very humbled. I’m in tears.”

Her emotion was matched by the landlady of the Clifton Arms in Blackburn who won Community Support hero Award. She said: “We always say it’s about people helping people. This award is for the community, to make them feel valued. They clubbed together and paid for me to come to the houses of parliament today. They wouldn’t take no for an answer! I’m over the moon and can’t put it in any other words.”

Over 100 guests attended the awards including members of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group which supports the awards, along with sponsors Matthew Clark. The awards were presented by Kevin Hollinrake, MP, Secretary of State for Enterprise and Markets, and Richard Hayhoe, marketing director from Matthew Clark. Owners and Publicans from the whole of the UK enjoyed tours of the Houses of Parliament before the event and enjoyed swapping stories and ideas about what they do for their communities.

One of the attendees of travelled among the furthest distance was Una Burns, the manager of Charlies Bar in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Charlies Bar created the emotive video that went viral just before Christmas. Una was awarded at the ceremony with the Community Support Hero Award for Ireland, the first time this award has ever been given out.

Una said: “We’re absolutely delighted to win the award. To be in the houses of parliament, to be invited in itself is such an honour, but to win the award is testament to the community spirit that the pub shows and I’m so proud to bring this home. Proud of what we have done as a community and proud of our bar.

“When our advert went viral we had no idea what to expect. We made the video to promote the bar and create a buzz around Christmas. When we released the video we wanted to reflect the true meaning of Christmas we never in our wildest dreams expected the response that is got. What was more important for us was to turn a video into action and we were able to raise £23,000 for local charities in Northern Ireland. We chose charities that support the elderly so looking back it’s a proud moment for us.”

The awards were judged by Rita King, Honorary Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group and PubAid steering group member; George Kyle from sponsor Matthew Clark; Paula Smith head of marketing at the Licensed Trade Charity and PubAid steering group member; Darryl Hinksman who is head of business development and MD for Westons Australia; Andrew Buchanan, operations director pubs and brewing at Daniel Thwaites who also sits on the BBPA Future Pub group; Molly Davis, head of communications for BII (British Institute of Innkeeping) and PubAid steering group member.

Des O’Flanagan, co-founder of PubAid, added: “The annual event is always very special for us and all the pubs who made it through to the finals. It is wonderful to hear so many stories of Publicans who do so much for their local communities and it’s heart-warming that pubs raise so much money for local and national charities and their regular customers are so generous when the cost of living makes things tough for many people. All 1,000 nominations we received are worthy of a congratulations but a special mention needs to be for those who made it through to the finals. The standard or entry this year has been so high that it gave our expert judges some difficult decisions.”

Full list of winners:

Community Support Hero

England: Clifton Arms, Blackburn

Ireland: Charlie’s Bar, Enniskillen

Scotland: Greenhills, East Kilbride

Wales: Yr Owain

Community Fundraising Hero

England: Railway Inn, Lincoln

Wales: The Sun Trevor, Llangollen

Scotland: Bank Bar, Dundee

Community Regular Hero

Scotland: Roisin Therese from Dreadnought pub, Edinburgh

Bridget and Paul Manley from the Blue Ball, Worrall

Community Sustainability Hero

The George, Castleton

Community Sport Hero

The Sportsman, Boston

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