Arts charity Vita Nova and development trust Recreate Dorset have received a share of £1,000 donation from Chaplins & The Cellar Bar in Boscombe after the venue was shortlisted for the Community Hero category at the Great British Pub Awards.
All the shortlisted pubs have been awarded funding by category sponsor Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, to help them continue the community work that got them to the final.
Harry Seccombe, owner of Chaplins & The Cellar Bar, said the prize money from Coca-Cola Europacific Partners had enabled him to provide a significant boost to two local causes that are making a real difference to people’s lives in Boscombe.
He chose to divide the prize money between Vita Nova, an arts charity located behind the pub, aiding locals in overcoming drug and alcohol addiction through theatre-based support, and Recreate Dorset, a community development trust who will use the money towards equipping a much-anticipated new community and arts centre in Boscombe.
“We take immense pride in being a go-to hub for locals, whether they need a drink and a chat, a space to campaign for local causes, or a venue to nurture their talents,” said Harry. “My hope is that this nomination spreads the word to everyone in Boscombe, letting them know that our doors are always open.”
Winners of the Community Hero category at the Great British Pub Awards in 2015 and 2017, and finalists every year from 2013-2019, Harry has ensured Chaplins & The Cellar Bar remains a community-orientated venue, serving the local people.
“Reaching the final once again means the world to us and everyone we serve. It’s a nice reminder that our efforts are making a positive impact on our local community,” said Harry.
In 2013 the pub was the driving force behind establishing the Boscombe Community Forum, a group championing local voices to address issues collaboratively with the council and police. Notably, the Forum launched a Neighbourhood Plan, successfully introducing 11 new planning policies in and around Boscombe. Harry has chaired both organisations and still currently chairs the Forum.
The pub also opens its doors as a free space for community members to pursue their interests, serving as a hub for local causes, a meeting place for literature and poetry enthusiasts, and a rehearsal space for musicians.
Winner of the Best Entertainment Pub in 2019, the bar hosts a busy seven day a week programme of original music. Harry and the team regularly organise all-day charity concerts raising money for good causes including the local foodbank, while the events themselves provide an opportunity for the community to come together, listen to local artists and have a good time.
Holly Firmin, senior community partnerships manager at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners added: “Pubs serve as vital hubs within communities nationwide, and Chaplins & The Cellar Bar is a prime example of the incredible impact they can have. Congratulations to Harry and the entire team for the commendable impact they consistently make in their local area.”
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