A PUB which fed NHS staff and hungry school children and kept locals entertained in lockdown has won an award for its efforts.
The London Tavern in Poulner, Ringwood, which is run by landlord Phil Hoyle, received the British Institute of Innkeeping’s Heart of the Community award.
During the first lockdown the pub provided free Sunday roasts for NHS workers by asking customers to nominate deserving individuals.
Phil and his team also kept locals happy with a takeaway service and he hosted a weekly Facebook quiz to keep them entertained.
The pub even set up its own village store, selling local produce and basics so everyone in the area had access to essentials. Locals were able to place a click-and-collect order with the pub or have their items delivered if they were self-isolating.
Over Easter half term, the pub was one of many local businesses to offer free food. Families were able to send a text message to Phil with their addresses and number of packed lunches they needed and he delivered them.
Phil said: “We’re so proud and honoured to have been awarded this accolade. I want to say a huge thank you to everyone in our amazing team for all their dedication and continued commitment to helping us be the pub we are today.
“I am incredibly proud to be part of this community and we’ll do everything we can to continue to support everyone here and we want to make sure that no one feels alone.”
As previously reported in the A&T, the pub was one of 11 businesses hit by thieves in November, with more than 50 bottles of alcohol taken from the London Tavern and damages of around £1,000.
Despite an online fundraiser from well-wishers raising more than £5,500, kind-hearted Phil decided to use the money to buy a defibrillator to benefit the community.