Customers at The Chequers, in North Crawley, have helped raised £966 for Macmillan Cancer Support after attending a coffee morning at the community pub last month.

In a fantastic show of community spirit, more than twenty locals baked cakes for the coffee morning, and thirty people donated raffle prizes for the 25th September event. Villagers from North Crawley, as well as those from Newport Pagnell, donated generously to the charity, which provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer.

The Chequers is owned by Hawthorn Leisure, a community pub operator with more than 700 pubs across England, Scotland and Wales, and the coffee morning was the idea of pub partner, Tracey Fountain, who has run the pub for 16 years with her partner, Gary Lee.

Tracey said: “Gary and I want to say a massive thank you to everybody in the village who got behind this event and raised so much money for such a great cause – everybody should be proud of themselves.”

In such a challenging time for the hospitality industry, Tracey is hoping that the community can continue to pull together and support The Chequers. She continues, “Gary and I have weathered plenty of storms as publicans, but this is the biggest challenge we’ve ever faced, particularly with the introduction of the 10pm curfew. During lockdown, we pivoted to provide great value takeaway meals on weekends, with fish and chips and 8oz beef burgers, selling for just £6 each, and we’re determined to survive this latest challenge for the good of the community. A pub like ours is so important for a village like North Crawley, and we know the locals will do all they can to help us survive.”

Andy Parker, Director of Leased and Tenanted Operations, Hawthorn Leisure, said: “We want all of our pubs to play an important role in their local community and Tracey and Gary have done a great job at The Chequers for many years. To be able to mobilise the community in such a way is testament to their standing in the village, and all our pub partners have our full support in this most challenging of times for our sector.”

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