Our judges have pored over more than 650 entrants to our pub fundraising competition, all of them doing 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.
The winners of our 2018 Men United Arms pub-fundraising campaign have been chosen! The Engine and Tender in Ampthill, Bedfordshire, has been named our favourite local of the year, while the Grafton Club in Surrey won the judges' vote for landlord of the year.
Under landlord Ken Maguire, the Engine saw off competition from 650 other pubs across the UK, raising a huge £8,000 from bringing the community together for a range of activities – from meat raffles to race nights.
"We’re so happy to have been named Prostate Cancer UK’s Favourite Local," says Engine regular Steve Butler. "It’s been as much about raising awareness as it has about raising the money, and there are definitely more conversations had in the pub about prostate cancer now. We're really pleased.”
But Steve and the whole of Ampthill aren’t stopping there. They've set themselves a target of £20,000 with lots more fundraising events planned, including golf days and a sponsored car rally tour of Europe.
At the Grafton Club, it was the diagnosis of club president Kim Spickett's husband with prostate cancer that prompted her to join the Men United Arms campaign – eventually winning her and her team the landlord of the year accolade.
The club's 200 members threw themselves into a whole range of fundraising activities, including a Halloween Silly Games Night, darts tournaments and poker nights, raising more than £350 overall.
"Taking part and fundraising has been so positive for the club," says Kim (pictured above with the Club's landlord, Jim Phipps). "It’s been a huge team effort so I definitely cannot take the credit.
"When my husband was diagnosed, it was such a shock. But thankfully due to him being diagnosed early and with the incredible support and advice he received, he is now OK.
"It was great to be able to raise awareness in the club – talking about prostate cancer can save lives as well as being reassuring. One of our members has since been diagnosed but thankfully it’s been caught early enough that he will be OK."
This is the second year we've run the competition, with a panel of industry experts judging participating pubs and their landlords based on their creativity and innovation, customer involvement, commitment to raising money and raising awareness of prostate cancer in their local community.
Thank you to all of you who took part this year and your incredible money and awareness-raising efforts. From all of us at Prostate Cancer UK and the vital work you're helping to support, cheers!
Find out more about our Men United Arms campaign.