A pub saved by community members who would not let it die has won a prize for helping people combat loneliness and isolation during lockdown.

The Swan in Mill Lane, Clewer won the Keeping the Community Entertained category at the 21st annual Great British Pub Awards, held virtually last night.

During lockdown The Friends of The Swan organised more than 30 online events across 12 weeks supported by regular weekly emails and busy social media pages, to keep community spirit alive. Activities included a virtual bookclub, moving the local sewing group online, online bingo and virtual pub quizzes.

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Sunday tea times saw the launch of ‘Dancing Through the Decades’, where a local singing duo ran a series of Facebook Live gigs, and the pub’s YouTube channel introduced ‘Rachel Reads’, where one of the volunteers recorded bedtime stories to help frazzled parents.

The story of the Swan is an inspiring one. It was closed for three years before the community banded together and took out a mortgage on it.

They did not let lockdown defeat them - and now of course the pub is open again and a proud prizewinner.

A few weeks ago a life saving piece of medical equipment - an automated external defibrillator - was installed outside the pub in memory of retired doctor Adrian Choinacki, one of the team that worked to save the pub.

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Anne Tebbatt, chairman of the Friends of the Swan group said: "It is amazing. We did not expect to win with so many London pubs competing for the public votes and we were the little old Swan. It just goes to show - the whole community stood behind the Swan and we would like to thank it."

Coca-Cola has provided a £165,000 fund for the Great British Pub Awards, to help winners continue their community work.

Nearly 1,000 pubs entered across the 15 categories, with winners being chosen by the public. More than 65,000 voters had their say, before a virtual awards ceremony hosted by TV presenter Stephen Mulhern last Thursday.