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23rd Jun, 2021

High praise for village pub

Rob George 4th Feb, 2021

ASHTON under Hill’s only pub, The Star, has been cited by the Brewing Good Cheer Campaign as a shining example of a pub really making a difference and putting the community first.

The work of the pub and licensee Vicky Lawson was highlighted in a new report which reveals the important and positive role pubs play in communities and on people’s wellbeing.

The Open Arms report was produced by Loughborough University for the Campaign to End Loneliness and in collaboration with Heineken whose Brewing Good Cheer campaign has championed the unique role pubs play in society. With no shop in Ashton under Hill, Vicky stepped in and turned The Star into a village shop, takeaway and off-license when the pandemic hit.

Her efforts enabled many elderly and shielding people unable to shop online to get food and also protected residents keen to minimise the village’s exposure to Covid-19.

Helped by volunteers, the pub was producing 350 meat, veg and grocery boxes and 340 meals a week at the peak of the pandemic. The service was a lifeline for the community, and the pub has been inundated with thanks.

“Loneliness and isolation have affected so many across Worcestershire these last 12 months exacerbated by the closure of pubs,” Vicky said.

“Pubs like The Star are much more than places to have a pint and a meal, they’re hubs of their communities and a lifeline for many, providing somewhere for people to enjoy what might be their only social interaction of the day or even week.

“It’s why it has been so important for us to keep the community spirit alive and support residents during this challenging time.

“A virtual community is better than none, but we can’t wait to open the doors and welcome customers back as soon as it’s safe to do so,” she added.

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