Two Worrall Regulars at The Blue Ball are crowned community hero of the year

Sheffield's The Blue Ball has won an influential award at the PubAid Community Pub Hero Awards 2024

The Blue Ball, Worrall, has won an influential award at the PubAid Community Pub Hero awards 2024.

Landlord, Carl Shepherd, along with their regular heroes Bridget and Paul Manley, were at the ceremony in the Houses of Commons to accept the award for being the best Community Regular Hero pub in England. The award celebrates the work that regular guests at the pub do to fundraise or support the community.

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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.

Bridget and Paul Manley win Regular Hero for Blue Ball, Worrall in PubAid awards.Bridget and Paul Manley win Regular Hero for Blue Ball, Worrall in PubAid awards.
Bridget and Paul Manley win Regular Hero for Blue Ball, Worrall in PubAid awards.

On winning the award, Bridget Manley said “It’s outstanding. We never thought we’d win. We just do what we do because we love our village and we have an outstanding pub. So many people in our village do so much and we feel very humbled. I’m in tears.”

Paul Manley added “I’m just staggered. We never expected this, I’m so emotional.”

The pub won because the Worrall Environmental Group, organised by Bridget and Paul Manley, is held there. Through their fundraising and community efforts the group have created initiatives to maintain the village. They have planted flowers and trees and raised thousands of pounds for the local community.

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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.

Dreadnought in Scotland won the Community Support Hero award for its region.

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.

The PubAid steering group is led by co-founder Des O’Flanagan, and includes a number of well-known figures from the pub world, who lend their time and other resources to help spread the positive messages about pubs’ role at the heart of their communities.

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