The Crown Inn in Gayton and The White Horse in King’s Lynn have been declared winners in the Great British Pub awards.

Eastern Daily Press: NHS workers tuck into supplies from the White Horse. Pic: suppliedNHS workers tuck into supplies from the White Horse. Pic: supplied (Image: Archant)

The Crown won the Sheltering the Community category and the White Horse, the Community Mindfulness award, both for their actions to help others during lockdown.

The Sheltering the Community award recognised pubs that offered support and shelter to those who needed it during the first months of the coronavirus outbreak.

At The Crown Inn, this meant offering all three of its rooms to the coronavirus ward staff at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King’s Lynn and providing them with free rooms and a laundry service for three months.

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The demand for accommodation was so great with local NHS staff wanting to protect their families from exposure to the virus, the pub helped set up a website to find more rooms in the area, with 30 workers housed in total.

The Community Mindfulness award recognised pubs that stepped up to unite the community in lockdown. Marvin Tillman at The White Horse hosted a two-hour live DJ set on Facebook each Friday, and more than 1,000 people tuned in from all over the world.

Mr Tillman also donated items to the nurses on the critical care ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in partnership with the local church.

Having seen the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on communities across the country, and on the pubs that sit at their heart, The Great British Pub Awards changed its focus this year.

The aim was to recognise and celebrate publicans’ selfless acts of kindness in lockdown, from feeding vulnerable members of the community and providing NHS workers with somewhere to stay, to keeping morale high when people needed it most.

Coca-Cola provided a £165,000 fund for the winning pubs and each one can bid for up to £10,000.

Nearly 1,000 pubs entered across the 15 categories, and the winners were chosen by the public.