Meet the GBPA Pub Heroes finalists - Sheltering the Community

By Chris Lowe

- Last updated on GMT

Voting for Sheltering the Community is now open
Voting for Sheltering the Community is now open

Related tags: Social responsibility

Pubs across the UK found themselves with unused rooms and spaces when the country went into lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but wanted to utilise these uninhabited areas to benefit their communities.

Thanks to all the pubs that generously opened their businesses to provide shelter to key workers, the homeless and other members of the community who would have otherwise been alone.

The five finalists shortlisted from hundreds of entries in the Great British Pub Awards Pub Heroes Sheltering the Community category proudly represent how pubs supported their communities in different ways. They each provided a roof to those in need and now we are giving them recognition for their good deeds.

Every entry this year is deserving of an award, but we want you to decide which should be highlighted as the Pub Hero for the Sheltering the Community category.

We are proud to shine a spotlight on these pubs that represent all pubs across the UK that touched thousands of lives during lockdown.

By voting, you are helping to recognise each and every one of these and by sharing you are helping to spread the message and support pubs in all our communities.

To vote, just click here

The finalists are:

County Arms, St Austell, Cornwall

The County Arms in Truro, down the road from Truro’s Royal Cornwall hospital, offered all its 33 rooms for use by NHS staff during lockdown.

They kept on a skeleton team to manage the process while also ensuring sterile facilities, as well as leaving a bottle of St Austell’s flagship ale in rooms and installing a 24-hour electronic keypad for entry.

The pub also handed over the use of its car park to hospital staff and gave away stocks of their soft drinks.


Kings Head, Harveys Brewery, Cacklebury  

The next story shows it is not necessarily how many people you help but how you really changed one person’s experience.

The tenants at Kings Head feared for an elderly regular who lived alone as lockdown approached. Despite having no rooms to let, they changed the pub into a temporary home for Ron who stayed at his new residence from the 26 March to 2 July,


The Crown Inn, GreeneKing, Gayton

The Crown Inn offered all three of its rooms to the coronavirus ward staff at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn.

The staff had to move out of their homes in a bid to protect their families.

While staying at the Crown Inn, they received free room and laundry service for over three months.

However, word got around about the shortage of space and a website was developed to help more hospital staff find accommodation in the West Norfolk area, drummed up support and rooms from fellow hospitality businesses, which in the end enabled 30 NHS staff to move into temporary accommodation, protecting their families while ensuring they were closer to the hospital where they could help more coronavirus patients.


The New Wellington

The New Wellington offered its eight rooms to NHS staff in need of somewhere to self-isolate during lockdown to protect their families and be closer to work.

They also encouraged locals to donate and provided meals to NHS staff staying with them, seeing many regulars get in touch to help.


The Swan

Within three days of lockdown, staff at the Swan decided to provide help in any way they could and contacted the council to offer its rooms.

Initially they housed the homeless, providing accommodation and eventually hot meals.

The Swan encouraged other hospitality businesses to help provide more free meals so that all those staying could get a balanced diet.

During the pandemic, accommodation was also provided for local key workers in need of somewhere to stay.

On top of its rooms and feeding the residents staying with them, the pub also provided takeaways and local deliveries, particularly to those vulnerable in the community.


Related topics: Events & Occasions