From the Am Fuaran pub in the Highlands to the Fraggle Rock Bar on the Isles of Scilly, you've been helping us scour the UK to find our favourite local of 2016 as part of our Men United Arms pub-fundraising campaign. After weeks of regulars and landlords persuading and fundraising, we're down to our top five – is your local among them?
£4,120 raised so far...
Inspired by a regular customer who had prostate cancer, landlord Matt Bailey has hosted a BBQ, two auctions, a raffle, and card games, while also making supplementary charges for bar food and taking donations for lifts and on the bar. The whole community has got behind The Par Inn's money raising efforts, and put the pub in the hunt for both the fundraising award and the prestigious top prize.
"When I received the information about Men United Arms from our loyal customer, I had to get involved," says Matt. "Lots of customers have really come together and joined in by donating items to the raffle, baking items and taking part in fun games.
"Every October, I take my rugby-supporting customers to the rugby and then dinner. But this year, all 24 customers have said that they will donate the cost of their tickets to the charity."
£3,500 raised so far...
Along with three friends, local pub-goer Gordon Clark has raised an incredible £3,500 for Prostate Cancer UK by organising a BBQ lunch at the Boot Inn. No strangers to raising money for charity, the friends also hold an annual Christmas dinner and various other fundraising activity raising a phenomenal amount for the cause.
"I was delighted when I heard that The Boot Inn had been shortlisted," says Gordon. "It was seven years ago that the four of us regulars sat down to share a drink and resolve global matters. Our conversation somehow wandered into matters of personal health and that of our kin.
"Within a short time we found common ground, with each having a father suffering from prostate cancer. From there on, we decided to help raise awareness of this taboo disease and raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK."
£2,500 raised so far...
Already one of our firm favourites, this is the second year that general manager Ant Walton has taken part in transforming his pub into a Men United Arms, raising well over £8,000 overall. This year, The Rose of Lancaster has hosted a range of activities, including a quiz night, a predict-the-scores game and a charity day at the JW Lees Brewery. The pub also received £450 from a retired police inspector, who published his memoirs and donated the proceeds to Prostate Cancer UK and two other charities.
"Hosting fundraisers throughout the year for Prostate Cancer UK really brought staff and customers together for a good cause and this one has been even better," says Ant, was inspired to turn his pub into a Men United Arms and fundraise for the charity after a great friend and regular in the pub had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. "There was a real feeling of community spirit and we had 30 locals take part in the brewery tour, which raised a lot of donations."
£1,106 raised so far...
It was a pub crawl for 30 people around Stourbridge on August bank holiday that brought in the lion's share of The Old White Horse's donation. Landlord James Doughty and one of his regulars living with prostate cancer, the Old White Horse has raised a fantastic amount already for Prostate Cancer UK.
"I was really shocked to be told I was in the top five pubs in the country for fundraising," says landlord James Doughty, who put together the walk with a local regular diagnosed with prostate cancer. "I look forward to hearing whether we’re the judges favourite local, but I have to say the winners in this situation are our regulars. They’re the ones who organised the pub crawl, and raised all this money for Prostate Cancer UK.”
£991.60 raised so far...
Manager John Hargadon made our shortlist after hosting a range of different activities, including a quiz night and 'Back to School' fancy dress competition. One of their staff also made £268 towards their total by shaving his hair.
"It's been a great couple of months fundraising and everyone has really got stuck in with the activities," says John, who heard about Men United Arms through one of his area managers. "We even had the children from the local dance school performing a dancing flash mob for everyone!
"It really has been a community effort and it’s great to see how everyone’s efforts have not only raised an incredible amount of money, but also put us on the map to be shortlisted!"
Our finalists have two weeks to go the extra barrel for Prostate Cancer UK and impress our panel of judges:
They'll be looking for the most innovative fundraising idea, customer involvement, and their commitment to spreading prostate cancer awareness in their local community. The winning pub will be announced the week commencing 14 November 2016.
Find your nearest Men United Arms and pop in to thank them for what they're doing (and take a selfie with the landlord). Or get in touch to set up your own Men United Arms at your local, social or sports club.