Community Hero 2016 winner​

Russell Clark, The Cleveland Bay, Redcar​
The Cleveland Bay has opened its doors to everyone. We have a Young at Heart club with 80 members between the age of 50 and 90 who play bingo, quizzes, arrange days out and take advantage of our pensioners' special menu. On Monday and Thursday nights we have a gamers club with 30 + member who indulge in Warcraft gaming. Local group Redcar Education and Development who provide help and support for people with learning disabilities visit on a regular basis and take part in line dancing, pool, dominos, darts and bingo and also enjoy lunch. On Wednesdays we have an afternoon and evening bingo with people of all ages playing. One of our local church groups come along for their monthly meeting and a couple of local outdoor bowls teams come for their tea after they have been playing.

Our children's play area and grassed beer garden has provided hours of fun for families. We have two men's darts teams and one ladies dart team, two pool teams and our regular domino crew, one of which has been a regular for nearly 60 years. Tuesday nights is for the local petrol heads who like their cars, hot-rods and motor bikes and are also joined by local custom peddle bike group. With everything going on we have not only become a community pub we are now a community hub for people of all ages, even well behaved dogs. We are also a safe point in the event of an evacuation for the local school.

Our regulars like the fact we saved the pub and gave them back a warm, welcoming safe, clean environment to use again. We like to make everyone feel welcome, opening our doors to the young at heart who had nowhere to meet and develop into the club they are now. We have added access ramps to make entrance into the pub easier for people who are less able, also making it easier for families with push chairs and buggy's. We have added handrails to assist with access.

Redcar Education and Development clients who visit enjoy integrating with the regulars and staff, helping them to live a normal life. We have worked with a local dementia aware group who came along with their clients for lunch before getting on the train. Saint Peters Court nursing home bring along some of their residents to have lunch and play bingo. We also support local charity, Victoria's Wish, who provide help to families who have children with life threatening illness. Along with raising money for them we have a free tea with Santa afternoon so the parents and children can come along, join in activities and receive a present from Santa. Recently we competed in Ultimate Warrior to raise over £1200 for Victoria's Wish

We fought to get the pavement outside the pub repaired in 2013 as it was in such a state of disrepair some one could of been seriously hurt. We then reclaimed some wasteland next to the train station which the local councillors and MP's had been lobbying to get cleared for years. We turned it into a grassed beer garden with access ramps so everyone can use it plus it makes the local railway station safer. We added all the access ramps and handrails around the building to make access easier for the local community. We are currently working with regeneration team of the local council trying to get the rail network to improve their access ramp to the station that sits directly behind us and are looking into sponsoring the station itself

We are currently looking into providing free transport for our less able customers. This will enable them to get out a bit more and socialise, especially in the dark winter months. We intend to provide a free door to door service with a seven seated vehicle free of charge. The bus route that runs past the pub is under threat at the minute which could isolate a lot of the elderly people who rely on the public transport.​