The Robinhood Inn, Overseal, has been announced as a finalist in the Great British Pub Awards for its fantastic work in supporting the local community.

Shortlisted in the Hawthorn Pub of the Year category, Pub Partner Ruth Lewis, her husband Steve and their grandson TJ impressed the judges with their exemplary standards and dedication to the local community, and now face stiff competition from the five other finalists.

The pub is owned by Hawthorn, the community pub company, which owns more than 700 pubs across Scotland, England and Wales. 

A true community hub, The Robinhood Inn has recently benefitted from a £47,800 investment, which saw the exterior of the pub completely redecorated, the creation of a large outdoor courtyard area, the installation of a pergola, new fixtures and fittings, and lots of new plants. Ruth also completely refurbished the pub’s back bar and lounge, and invested in catering equipment to enable the pub to offer food. 

The Robinhood Inn also impressed the judges with their dedication to the local community. The pub has recently won a South Derbyshire Community Hero Award for its efforts in supporting locals throughout the pandemic, and Ruth and the team have run a number of community initiatives, including preparing and delivering free school meals for disadvantaged children in the village, hosting a Christmas grotto, running a food bank, and delivering Easter eggs to over 230 children. 

Determined to make a difference, the pub is also currently working with Burton College on a new scheme aiming to help young adults with learning difficulties and mental health conditions such as Asperger’s, ADHD and anxiety, by training them in waiting and bar work in order to increase their confidence and social skills.

Ruth, who has been running the pub for 10 years, said: “We’re absolutely blown away to be shortlisted as finalists in the Great British Pub Awards, and we couldn’t believe it when we heard the news. I’ve been in the trade for 37 years and have never been nominated for anything like this, so it’s a real honour. We’ve been getting loads of comments on Facebook and well wishes from locals coming into the pub too. We’re thrilled to have even got this far, and to be shortlisted alongside the other amazing pubs in the category. ”

The finalists will be visited by the judges over the next few weeks, with the winners set to be revealed on Tuesday 28th September.. This years’ awards will take on a hybrid format to include a livestreamed awards ceremony and an overall winners’ event, where one overall winner from across all of the categories will go on to be awarded the title of Great British Pub of the Year.

Andrew Parker, Director of Leased and Tenanted Operations at Hawthorn, said: “We are thrilled for Ruth, Steve and TJ for being announced as finalists in the Great British Pub Awards. At Hawthorn we encourage all of our Partners to be community heroes and this nomination is testament to the hard work Ruth and the team have put into making the pub a thriving community hub. The work they have done for the local community is admirable, and we wish everyone at The Robinhood Inn the best of luck.”

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