This year, we're on the lookout for our favourite local. And in Oldham, we've already got a pub high on the list of our all-time greats. Pub manager at the Rose of Lancaster, Ant Walton, explains how their ever popular 'Predict the Scores' game is proving popular with locals in the fight against prostate cancer.
Bar manager Ant Walton has been running the Rose of Lancaster pub in Chadderton for 10 years. He chose Prostate Cancer UK to be the pub's charity of the year when a great friend of his family was diagnosed with prostate cancer. For Ant, it seemed like the natural step to get the pub and its customers to back a cause dedicated to stopping men dying from the disease.
"Raising money for Prostate Cancer UK brings all the people in the pub together, and we also found that a few locals have been diagnosed," said Ant. "Touch wood, there’s a lot of them that have had successful treatment and come out the other side smiling."
Together with this staff and customers, Ant has raised over £7,500 in the last year by turning his pub into a Men United Arms, our year-round pub fundraiser.
"We tend to coincide with the football season, so we do it with a thing called 'Predict the Scores'," said Ant. "Every week we put it down on a sheet of paper and all of the customers pay £1.50 to enter. A donation goes to the charity, and some goes back in prizes at the end of the year. At the end of the week, the pub donates a gallon of beer to the person who gets the most points."
"'Predict the Scores' is the most successful, because it’s an ongoing thing throughout the year," continued Ant. "There's a real buzz in the community about it because we do it on a league basis, and people can win a cash prize at the end of the year.
"We’ve done charity race nights, charity quiz nights, and other things like that. We get local companies to donate prizes and hold tribute nights where we do raffles too."
So why does Ant thinks fundraising works so well at the Rose of Lancaster?
"It’s about goodwill in the community," said Ant. "I think if you’re doing charity fundraising, it helps the pub, the community. Staff all get behind it – everyone’s a winner really".
This September we are looking to find our favourite local of the year that goes that extra mile with their fundraising. We're asking pubs to host a fundraising event like a quiz in their pub and find out more about how they can be crowned Prostate Cancer UK's favourite local of 2016.
Will you pub become our next favourite local?
Our judges have pored over more than 650 entrants to our pub fundraising competition, all of them doing brilliant, inspiring and often wacky things to help support us with our vital work. But there could be only two winners and we spoke to them both about their extraordinary bar-based efforts.