by Jo Kent, Account Director
Earlier this year, we launched the inaugural Britvic Lifting Spirits Awards in association with leading trade magazine, the Morning Advertiser. This marked the beginning of our search for the pub or outlet that has given the most back to its local community, which culminated in an awards ceremony that took place in July.
Where it all Began
The conception of the Britvic Lifting Spirits Awards followed the relaunch of Britvic’s iconic Mixers and Juices, a range that has been lifting people’s spirits and has been a part of British culture since 1938. As part of the campaign, Britvic launched the Lifting Spirits Foundation to further Britvic’s heritage in supporting local communities and projects. Through these awards, we wanted to take this community support concept one step further to not only reward the local initiatives, but to recognise the hard-working individuals behind these projects.
Making the Cut
Pubs have long been considered the hub of the community, leading the way in developing new ideas to support their customers and bring local people together. The entries we received highlighted this perfectly with an array of heart-warming stories of local people supporting their communities. It was incredibly tough creating a shortlist given the exceptional calibre of the entries but, working together to judge the entries on various criteria, Britvic and MA agreed who would make the cut and win their seat at an awards ceremony in London.
I’ve been to many awards do’s in my time but I don’t think I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet and speak to so many inspiring individuals. These were people that, despite already working tirelessly as part of their day job, still made time to bring to life initiatives that make a huge difference to their local communities. These were a far cry from just taking part in the local fun run – from a disco setup to deliver a dose of normality for dementia sufferers and their carers, through to raising funds for improvements to local buildings, buying a minibus to transport the elderly and numerous worthwhile charity initiatives – it really was humbling to meet these people and hear about the fantastic initiatives they’ve each undertaken.
The Worthy Winners
— The Keel Row (@KeelRow) July 11, 2017
Following a leisurely lunch listening to the achievements of each finalist, the winner was finally announced as The Keel Row in Seaton Delaval. Having undertaken a whole host of different initiatives to support the community, The Keel Row really stood out as the perfect example of what makes a great community pub. The generosity shown by publicans, Sharon Herron and Natalie Walters, was second to none and was highlighted even further when they announced they would be splitting their prize of a £1,000 donation to a charity of their choice, with finalist and fellow publicans from the local area, Peter Evans and Paul Thompson from The Hastings Arms. A very touching tribute from the deserving winners of the first ever Britvic Lifting Spirits Awards!