Victoria MacDonald, The Cellar House, Eaton
Victoria MacDonald and her team at The Cellar House, Eaton, Norwich have won the coveted Enterprise Community Heroes Award for 2015.
Victoria explains in her own words what she and her team have done in conjunction with their local community to win the award.
"Last December we were approached by a number of community activists including the local Member of Parliament and members of Eaton Village Residence Association asking us if we could take on the local Post Office business after the current sub-Postmaster announced that the business would be closing due to his retirement. After consulting Pub is the Hub and our Enterprise Regional Manager and Divisional Director we decided to undertake the lengthy application process to offer a 'Post Office Local' service within the Cellar House. The Post Office recently advised us of our success with this application and, subject to a period of public consultation, we hope to have the Post Office operational within the pub in the next few months.
We have also become the venue of choice for a number of local groups and events and hence have established our position at the hub of our local community. We recently provided a new home for a local ukulele club whose previous venue had closed and likewise have provided a venue for the local mah-jong and knitting clubs.
We support a number of sports teams including two football teams (sponsoring one team as Cellar House FC), two cricket teams and two cycle clubs (Hethersett Velo and Norwich ABC). Macmillan Cancer Support (Norfolk) use our pub to host their regional fund-raising meetings.
Buy Local, a Norfolk based business network meet regularly at our pub and we make no charge. This year we have introduced a beer festival in response to demands from our local ale drinkers. In order to make the event more family friendly, we put on free entertainment for children, including a set of Punch and Judy shows and a series of circus workshops, over the weekend of the festival.
Norwich City Council are currently upgrading the city's cycle network, including the path running passed The Cellar House; we are investing in a set of bicycle stands to respond to the Council's initiative and to encourage a safe approach to 'drinking out'.
Our plan is to develop our successful beer festival into an annual family oriented village fete, working in conjunction with Eaton Village Residents' Association and their chosen charity. We would invest our prize money, together with our own funds, in purchasing a marquee and enhancing our children's play facilities for use at the fete (provisionally set for Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend 2016) and for other community based events.
Given that The Post Office service and our links with local clubs and societies establishes the pub's position as a focal point within Eaton we are keen to develop an Information Hub for visitors, new residents and the broader community and we would use additional prize money to provide administrative support in developing this initiative. We have been asked to consider organising training sessions in Information, Communication Technology for the elderly residents of the village and this would be a way of getting the Information Hub initiative off the ground, using prize money as a catalyst to do so".