​Community Hero 2016 national runner-up

Allen Watts, The Lunar Hare, Andover​

We have taken our community care to beyond our immediate borders and have created a charity on a National level with The Lunar Hare as it's base. It is called Barefoot Challenge and I am an ambassador for the charity. I have had the logo tattooed on my foot and am completely barefoot for a whole year. I am known as The Barefoot Landlord throughout the county, have appeared on BBC South Today and am currently in talks with some well known Celebs to become Ambassadors too.

We support everyone we can locally and abroad and get the whole community involved, making The Lunar Hare a place people associate with giving. We're nearly at our 200 word limit and there's so much more to say!

Through all the charity projects we are running all the time the community has really bonded. Every one helps out. Families have been coming to the pub for a long time and everyone is always welcoming and friendly.

You will see by last year's application the many varied charities that we support and the local community at large too. We continue to add many new names to the long list of people we have supported with specific fund raising events, concerts, gifts, sponsorship deals etc.

We drew the community together, raising a staggering £2,500 for Little Hero's with a firewalk attended by over 60 people. However it's a community elsewhere that I think we have done our best work this year; The Hedgerow Pagan Group, National Autistic Society, Dementia Awareness, Andover Slings Library, Hampshire Breast Feeding Friendly, Countess of Brecknock Cancer Hospice, Young Carers, The Mayors Charities, Suicide Awareness, Lip Reading society to name a few.

We have personally sponsored many local schools, charities and local sporting events and held a number of concerts in aid of MS, all on a local level.

I have drawn the community together again to support the Barefoot Challenge charity and many of our locals are taking the concept to friends, family and beyond, raising massive amounts of money.

All proceeds go to a charity called Giving Africa and they are helping some of the poorest children in the world change their lives for the better and more importantly the lives around them too.

Sometimes community is about more than just the people around you. It is about bring one group of people together to help another!

We have held many events and concerts in aid of our Local MS charity.

We have given our function room free of charge to any group or charity that has asked to use it and I would say it is booked about 5 nights a week by a massive variety of groups.

We have held a firewalk raising over £2,500.

We have the local Cancer Hospice and many Old Peoples Homes use the venue for coffee mornings with many patients visiting regularly.

We have the local Lip Reading Society in weekly.

We are a member of Hampshire Breast Feeding society and we offer free tea for Breast Feeding Mums.

My daughter was given the morning off school to follow up her amazing efforts for the MacMillan Coffee Morning raising an amazing £420.

We hold regular Poetry Workshops, Creative Writing, Children's story telling, Art classes, Pottery, etc.

We have close links to The Mayor of Test Valley and support all her events with the use of the venue, donations and hosting events.

We have created a National Charity helping one of the poorest communities in the world with the support and input of our local community. We have helped raise our local community's awareness of other people and encouraged a massive amount of love, kindness and giving for themselves and others too.

We would use the prize money to build a community sensory garden. We would bring together school children and people from Old People's Homes to design and maintain the garden (with a professional landscaper at the helm). This would bring together two aspects of the community that have a lot to offer one another. The garden would be open to anyone with an emphasis on people with learning difficulties, sight problems including blindness, terminal patients, school children, the elderly, in fact anyone who can enjoy the space. All of these people use the pub regularly and I think this is a brilliant way to give something back to the community as a thank you.​