Sheltering the Community

The corona crisis put thousands of people into precarious positions and in need of support. The Sheltering the Community award recognises the pubs that offered support and shelter to the vulnerable during the coronavirus lockdown



County Arms, St Austell, Cornwall

The County Arms in Truro, down the road from Truro’s Royal Cornwall hospital, offered all its 33 rooms for use by NHS staff during lockdown.

They kept on a skeleton team to manage the process while also ensuring sterile facilities, as well as leaving a bottle of St Austell’s flagship ale in rooms and installing a 24-hour electronic keypad for entry.

The pub also handed over the use of its car park to hospital staff and gave away stocks of their soft drinks.


Kings Head, Harveys Brewery, Cacklebury

The next story shows it is not necessarily how many people you help but how you really changed one person’s experience.

The tenants at Kings Head feared for an elderly regular who lived alone as lockdown approached. Despite having no rooms to let, they changed the pub into a temporary home for Ron who stayed at his new residence from the 26 March to 2 July,


The Crown Inn, GreeneKing, Gayton

The Crown Inn offered all three of its rooms to the coronavirus ward staff at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kings Lynn.

The staff had to move out of their homes in a bid to protect their families.

While staying at the Crown Inn, they received free room and laundry service for over three months.

However, word got around about the shortage of space and a website was developed to help more hospital staff find accommodation in the West Norfolk area, drummed up support and rooms from fellow hospitality businesses, which in the end enabled 30 NHS staff to move into temporary accommodation, protecting their families while ensuring they were closer to the hospital where they could help more coronavirus patients.


The New Wellington

The New Wellington offered its eight rooms to NHS staff in need of somewhere to self-isolate during lockdown to protect their families and be closer to work.

They also encouraged locals to donate and provided meals to NHS staff staying with them, seeing many regulars get in touch to help.


The Swan Hotel, Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire

Within three days of lockdown, staff at the Swan decided to provide help in any way they could and contacted the council to offer its rooms.

Initially they housed the homeless, providing accommodation and eventually hot meals.

The Swan encouraged other hospitality businesses to help provide more free meals so that all those staying could get a balanced diet.

During the pandemic, accommodation was also provided for local key workers in need of somewhere to stay.

On top of its rooms and feeding the residents staying with them, the pub also provided takeaways and local deliveries, particularly to those vulnerable in the community.