A pub in Rusper has been crowned fundraiser of the year in a competition run by the British Institute of Innkeeping.
The Royal Oak in Friday Street has scooped the award in the national annual contest for its work raising more than £30,000 mostly towards the work of the St Catherine’s Hospice.
The owner of the Royal Oak Sara Blunden said the pub and its customers had helped raised the money since she took over running of the pub in 2006. As well as St Catherine’s Hospice, they have raised funds for other good causes, including the air ambulance.
Sara was on hand at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel to collect the award.
She said: “I am chuffed to bits, I really am, but it’s not for me. It’s for the people who tirelessly put their hands in their pockets year after year. They are really terrific.
“The pub is nothing without its customers and I collected this award for them.”
About 98 per cent of the money raised has gone to St Catherine’s Hospice.
Sara added: “We have a long-standing relationship with the team at St Catherine’s Hospice and are delighted to help support the great work they do.
“I have had too many good friends go through there and I know what a good job they do.”
The award was sponsored by Pub Aid, an organisation dedicated to spreading the word about what great work pubs do for charity.
With pubs raising more than £106 million a year for charity, this award celebrates pubs that raise funds, not only in terms of sums raised, but also in their ability to demonstrate a responsible, long-term commitment and approach to raising money for charity.
Sara is planning her next charity day in September.
She said: “We will get the pantomime horses out. I want to do pantomime horse jousting, but I don’t seem to be able to find anyone brave enough to sit on the top.”