The Robin Hood Inn, Overseal, has received a South Derbyshire Community Hero Award for its efforts in helping and supporting the local community throughout the pandemic.

Nominated by locals for their selfless dedication to the community, Pub Partner Ruth Lewis, her husband Steve and their grandson TJ ran a number of charity initiatives and activities throughout both England lockdowns, including preparing and delivering free school meals for disadvantaged children in the village, hosting a Christmas grotto, and running a food bank.

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

Ruth has been running the Robin Hood Inn for 10 years, and has lived in South Derbyshire her whole life. She said: “There were so many people in need throughout lockdown in our village, and some people have no one so we had to do something. Easter last year was a hard time for the children, so we delivered Easter eggs and craft materials to every child in the village to help cheer them up, and we got dressed up as Disney characters too. We delivered over 230 parcels in total – it was a fantastic day but the most emotional day we have ever had.

“It’s an honour to have been given this award, the people in our village are fantastic and are so generous. I love waking up every day and being a landlady, so I don’t do it for the awards, and I couldn’t do it without my family, especially TJ. They’re all a great help and The Robin Hood Inn is a real family effort.”

The pub is 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. Ruth was approached by the college after her grandson Kodi, who has autism, started working at the pub, and saw a huge improvement in his confidence levels and social skills. Ruth is now training a number of other young adults in waiting and bar work and hopes to make this an ongoing initiative at the Robin Hood Inn, with one of her current trainees now keen to pursue a career in hospitality.


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