National Pubwatch Awards 2020 to recognise pubwatches that have supported local communities during pandemic

The prestigious National Pubwatch Awards 2020 will identify the top pubwatches that have gone above and beyond during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The awards, which are in their ninth year, are broadening their criteria to recognise those that have supported their local community during the current crisis.

The awards, sponsored by JD Wetherspoon, want to hear from local pubwatches that as well as fighting anti-social behaviour have responded to the impact of Coronavirus by supporting their local communities.

Whether it be helping to open a click and collect grocery service, delivering meals to the needy and vulnerable, or helping in a special way by supporting their local NHS.

Steve Baker, chair of National Pubwatch, said: “We are currently in the middle of this pandemic and pubs have really stepped up to help their local communities and key workers.

“We decided to broaden the focus of the awards this year to reward those local pubwatches that are making sure their communities are cared for during the Coronavirus pandemic.

With the situation in such a state of flux we are looking for pubwatches that have helped their local communities but who are also looking to the future for their pubs.”

It is not the first time that National Pubwatch has rewarded a pubwatch and individual for its work in the community.Managing director of Chapel Night Club and secretary and Vice Chair of Salisbury Pubwatch Amanda Newbery was rewarded with the National Pubwatch Award of Merit last year for her instrumental work bringing pubs in Salisbury back to life following the Novichok international incident in 2018.

Newbery said that the impact of the Novichok incident changed the focus of the organisation.

“During 2018 and 2019, it became an information exchange with mutual support between businesses and the authorities. We saw evening footfall drop by 44% for some considerable time until it settled in 2019 at around 11% fall,” she said.

“Helping licensees to understand the trends, where to go for advice and funding and, in some cases, applying for funding with business owners kept me busy. Attending weekly economic rescue meetings for 18 months and other wider strategic information meetings took up a lot of energy while also trying to see our own business through the crisis.”

Last year’s winner of the prestigious National Pubwatch Awards were Nottingham City Pubwatch. The Chairman of Nottingham City Pubwatch Mike Knight said: “Since winning the National Pubwatch Award our membership has grown tremendously to almost 250. We will soon need a bigger cinema to host our Pubwatch meetings! The increase in membership has certainly been driven by the award.”

Finalists are expected to attend a prestigious awards dinner in the House of Lords on 21 October 2020 at event hosted by NPW President Lord Kennedy of Southwark.

The on-line application process is open until 28th August. The application form and details of previous winners can be seen here