Great British Pub Awards 2020

Great British Pub Award nomination - Keeping The Community Entertained category

What is it?

The Swan has been shortlisted making it to the final of the 2020 Great British Pub Awards. We are in with a shot of winning our cateory and would be offered the opportunity to submit an application for up to £10,000 to fund a business improvement or upgrade or to put towards a community project. Additionally, Coca-Cola will fund a further £1,000 donation to a local charity or good cause supported by each of the winning pubs.

Obviously this is a really big opportunity for us both to win an award and be able to apply for new funding. The good news is that the winners will be decided by a community-wide vote across the UK - this is where you come in.

How to Vote

Voting is now closed.

When are the Results Announced

All National Finalists are invited to watch the Great British Pub Awards Pub Hero's livestream on Thursday 24th September 2020 at 18:00 where the National Champions in each of the awards 15 categories and will be announced. We aim to show this on the TVs in the pub and have a wee socially distanced party too.

You can either watch it live at The Swan or follow these instructions.

When the Film Crew came to The Swan

A film crew came to The Swan on Monday 14th September. There aim was to interview a cross-section of people who had been involved in The Swan during lockdown. From these they would edit it down to a 3-minute segment that will be published online. And if we win, then it will be played on the night.

We have some photos of the morning on our filming for the GPBAs page.

Our Entry

The Swan Clewer Community Interest Company formed in 2018 to renovate a derelict Victorian coaching inn, whilst at the same time creating a community pub with a difference! We share our space with sixth form students of The Green Room – a local school giving young people who have struggled with mainstream education the chance to lead brilliant lives. We are a unique, fully inclusive community hub owned and run by a diverse group of investors, staff and volunteers.

After an encouraging first six months of trading, 2020 started full of hope; planning our first beer festival and first anniversary, but then we had to close our doors…. However, whilst the lights went dark in the pub, the buzz that we had created within the local community was far from quiet! With a very diverse customer base, we realised that in these strange times, our responsibility extended beyond the usual bar room chat. So, The Friends of The Swan group, who plan many of the pub’s events, decided to help combat the potential loneliness and isolation of lockdown. Some of our existing groups immediately moved online.

With people having more time to read our Monday night book club increased their membership and frequency of meetings. Our sewing group also started to meet via Zoom, planning and making bunting to decorate our courtyard post-lockdown.

Some puzzled faces
Renee and family (our oldest player)
On of our online events

In our first big online event, over 30 households registered via the online booking system we designed, to play bingo on Zoom. There were no prizes, but lucky winners secured a ticket on an “all-inclusive virtual cruise”.

Our Quiz is always a popular night, so we launched a Zoom version, introducing a very successful ‘guest round’, where a local charity, environmental group and others got a chance to share their message in a fun and interactive way.

Sunday teatimes saw us ‘Dancing Through the Decades’ with a local singing duo via a series of Facebook Live gigs.

Our YouTube channel introduced ‘Rachel Reads’ – where one of our volunteers recorded bedtime stories to help frazzled parents.

No fees were charged for our events; we just asked for a voluntary donation of the cost of your usual drink in the pub, if you had enjoyed yourself. Funds were shared between our kitchen refurbishment fund and our nominated local charity – raising over £500 for their work with families in crisis.

We kept in touch with the wider community via our weekly email updates that are regularly read by over 600 people. Supported by social media posts across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; our website and local radio, these provide an update on what is happening at the pub, advertise our events and during lockdown, reassured everyone that we would be back! We found we had more to say than ever!

After over 30 online events across 12 weeks with between 10 and 50 attendees, aged from 9 to 98, plus a range of other communications and activities, we are proud to say, community spirit is alive and well.