The coronavirus crisis has thrown a real spotlight on the pub sector and the importance pubs play within the community. The Morning Advertiser (MA) has been inundated with stories of how operators have stepped up during the pandemic to perform vital services.
To recognise these amazing stories, the MA has decided to adapt the Great British Pub Awards to celebrate some superb heroes of the crisis - the pubs that, despite being on their knees, continued to put food into vulnerable hands and provide vital services for communities reeling in the midst of the crisis.
MA editor Ed Bedington said: “When the Prime Minister told the pubs to shut, for many, their world fell apart - operators throughout the country were in freefall, facing an uncertain and worrying future.
“Yet, despite that fear and anxiety, many pubs continued to support the communities around them, whether that was providing meals for vulnerable elderly locals, or vital supplies such as eggs, flour and milk by setting up as community shops.
“We’ve always promoted pubs as being the hubs and hearts of the communities they serve, and without a doubt, this crisis has proven that many times over.
“I am personally in awe of what some of our operators have been able to achieve, and it’s only right that we recognise and celebrate those incredible acts.”
The awards are now open for entry at www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk across a range of new special one-off categories.
- Feeding the Community – A pub that has kept their community fed
- Front-Line Support – A pub that has supported the NHS and other front-line workers in a variety of ways
- Staff Welfare – A pub that has gone above and beyond to look after their teams
- Community Mindfulness – A pub that has supported the community’s mental health
- Community Services – A pub that has looked after vulnerable customers
- Business Continuity – A pub that has found innovative ways to continue to deliver its services during the lockdown
- Pub Shop – A pub that has pivoted to provide essential supplies to its local community
- Charity Champion – A pub that has raised money for charity despite the lockdown
- Keeping the Community Entertained – A pub that has continued to provide vital entertainment to its community – virtual quizzes, concerts etc
- Sheltering the Community – A pub that has provided a room for someone in need
- Punch Pub Hero of the Year
- Admiral Pub Hero of the Year
- Greene King Pub Hero of the Year
- Ei Publican Partnerships Pub Hero of the Year
Bedington added: “We’ve simplified the entry and judging process this year in light of the challenges you’ve all been facing. All you have to do to enter is to tell us your story in one of the categories above - let us know how you’ve worked hard to help your community.
“We’ll bring forward the best entries and they will then be put to a public vote before we announce our winners with a special online event which you’ll all be able to stream direct into your pubs to create your own celebration to share with your customers.
“What are you waiting for? Get your entries in now and help us tell the world how fantastic and important pubs really are!”
The awards are kindly sponsored by Admiral, Booker/Makro, Coca-Cola European Partners, Diageo, Ei Publican Partnerships, Greene King, Heineken UK and Punch and supported by Long Live the Local.
Entries are open now on www.greatbritishpubawards.co.uk and close on 24 July.