Blackburn pub 'The Clifton Arms' bags top prize at national pub awards

The Clifton Arms in Blackburn crowned 'Community Support Hero of the year' for England in the national PubAid Awards.
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The Clifton Arms, Blackburn, has won an influential award at the PubAid Community Pub Hero awards 2024.

Landlady, Carole Davis, along with her local MP, Kate Hollern, was at the ceremony in the Houses of Commons to accept the award for being the best Community Support Hero pub in England. The award celebrates the work that the pub does to support the community and the judges were looking for a pub that acts as a ‘good neighbour’ for the people locally.

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The pub saw competition from over 1,000 entries nationwide for the prestigious pub industry awards, now in their fifth year.

Carole Davis from the Clifton Arms collecting the PubAid AwardCarole Davis from the Clifton Arms collecting the PubAid Award
Carole Davis from the Clifton Arms collecting the PubAid Award

On winning the award, Carole Davis 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, and wouldn’t take no for an answer. I’m over the moon and can’t put it in any other words.”

“I've had a marvellous time at the Houses of Parliaments. It’s so much better than i could imagine having seen it on the TV. This is just unbelievable.”

The pub won as it is a vibrant community hub, providing resources for those less fortunate. Located in Blackburn, amidst a community with a high number of low-income families, The Clifton Arms identified their needs, nurtured a sense of community, and empowered a team of volunteers and local businesses to support and sponsor the hub.

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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.”

PubAid, which organises the awards in association with Matthew Clark and the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group, refreshed the awards and created more categories to congratulate more community pubs throughout the UK. There were 33 finalists in total across five categories.

Charlie’s Bar in Ireland, Greenhills in Scotland and Yr Owain in Wales won the Community Support Hero award for their regions respectively.

Community Pub Hero Awards: PubAid launched its Charity Fundraiser Pub Awards in 2018, with sponsorship from C&C and support from the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group. The awards ran again in 2019, sponsored by Matthew Clark, and in 2020, with pubs closed for months due to Covid, they were reshaped and renamed as the Community Pub Hero Awards.

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PubAid is a working party created in 2009 to promote UK pubs as a force for good in their communities, sharing the message that they raise over £100m per year for charities and contribute £40 million to grassroots sport. PubAid runs the annual World’s Biggest Pub Quiz, which has raised £750,000 since its launch in 2016, the Community Pub Hero Awards and, launched in early 2022, the Grassroots Sports Champions, in association with Sky, to recognise pubs’ support for local sports.

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