The Bird in Hand in Wreningham, near Wymondham, has been awarded the top accolade of Business Community Champion of the Year at the South Norfolk Community Awards 2020.
Pub is The Hub sponsored the Business Community Champion category, which recognised pubs who have gone above and beyond to help their communities during lockdown. This year the council’s annual Pub of the Year competition was replaced by a community award to reflect the impact of Covid-19.
As part of its close association with South Norfolk District Council, Terry Stork, Pub is The Hub’s East Anglian advisor, takes part in choosing the winner of the annual pub competition.
This year’s virtual event saw Alex Brake and his sister Lizzie Brake, the co-owners of The Bird in Hand given the good news of their win during an interview on the council’s social media channels.
The pub has been in family ownership for the last 13 years with Alex and Lizzie taking over the pub and restaurant two years ago from their parents.
During lockdown and throughout the pandemic Alex, Lizzie and their team continued to support the local community. They organised fundraising for the elderly, a takeaway meal service, delivered hot meals to the most vulnerable, gave 400 toilet rolls to the community, sent 100 food parcels to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and had free soup and rolls available for those most in need.
Terry Stork said: “Big congratulations to The Bird in Hand team on this much-deserved award. This is truly a pub at the heart of its local community, providing services to local people that go far beyond just serving food and drink.
“So many pubs have struggled in these challenging times and many have come up with fantastic initiatives to support their local community.
“A huge thanks to South Norfolk District Council for running these inspired awards. These awards provide a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the pubs that have gone that extra mile.”
Alex Brake said: “We are over the moon. When Lizzie and I took over the business we wanted to put a strong community focus on the pub. The community has been fantastic and the feedback has been phenomenal.
“That has inspired us to go as far as we can to help and the community has supported us.”
Alex and Lizzie are now talking to Pub is The Hub about a potential Community Services Project at the pub.
The Bird in Hand won £250 for the community group of their choice, a bunch of flowers and an afternoon tea.
Pictured above left to right: Terry Stork, Pub is The Hub’s East Anglian advisor, Lizzie Brake, co-owner of the Bird in Hand, Alex Brake, co-owner of the Bird in Hand