After months of fundraising by 400 pubs up and down the UK, the bell has sounded for last orders on our competition to find Prostate Cancer UK's favourite local of 2016, with the Par Inn in South Cornwall impressing our expert panel of judges to take the inaugural title.
Beating nearly 400 nominated pubs across the UK, our top five fundraising pubs were put through their paces to find our winner. The judges – including Masterchef's Gregg Wallace, former Chief Executive of the Spirit Pub Company, Mike Tye, and Pub Aid’s James Cuthbertson – assessed them for the most innovative ideas, customer involvement and their commitment to their local community.
But although it was tight, the Par Inn came away as the clear winner, with the judges thoroughly impressed by the pub’s efforts and dedication.
The Par Inn is the perfect example of how the pub can form the backbone of a community
My kind of pub. When can I visit?
Landlord Matt Bailey raised an incredible £4,120 by hosting a BBQ, two auctions, a raffle, card games, charging for bar food, donations for lifts and general donations on the bar.
“When I received the call saying we had won, I couldn’t believe it!” said Matt. “I was convinced another pub was going to win so I am absolutely over the moon.
“It’s been such a great couple of months and, despite being quite competitive and regardless of whether we had won in the end or not, it’s been great to see everyone come together and get involved.”
Matt was inspired to organize the events for Prostate Cancer UK after a regular customer was diagnosed with prostate cancer and handed information about the Men United Arms to Matt. The whole community have since all got behind and raised money.
“Having the connection to the cause, as well and seeing how prostate cancer has affected someone close to us, has been the driving force for putting in everything we could to raise as much money as possible,” said Matt. Customers to the Par Inn donated items to the raffle, baked cakes and joined in the many fun and games that the pub has hosted.
But that isn’t all. Every year, Matt takes 24 of his customers to the rugby and then out to dinner. So this year, all of them donated the cost of their tickets to Prostate Cancer UK, which has added to their total.
“So many customers have really gone all out and joined in in so many different ways,” said Matt. “It’s down to them that we have won. Roll on next year: we hope to go even bigger and better!”
The Par Inn will receive a framed personalised Men United Arms shirt and a thank you event at the pub in early 2017 to celebrate their achievement. But, like all of the shortlisted pubs in the competition, they also had support from our PR team and promotion on social media. One of our Facebook posts for the pub reached over 23,000 people in Cornwall and received over 350 likes.
Angela Culhane, Chief Executive of Prostate Cancer UK, said: “The Par Inn sounds like a real community hub that's not only a great pub, but is also dedicated to making an effort a difference for a great cause. It definitely sounds like they put the fun into fundraising! They are very deserving of being named our favourite local and I want to thank Matt and the team for raising such a huge amount of money.”
If you've been inspired by the Par Inn, you can still encourage your local to host a fundraiser for Prostate Cancer UK and help save men’s lives. Sign up now for a fundraising pack or more info.Donate