By Claire Jacobs
A Brighton pub has been shortlisted for a prize in the Great British Pub Awards.
The Bevendean Co-Operative Pub, better known as the Bevy, is one of six national finalists in the Best Community Pub category.
The popular community pub has been open for 18 months after local residents raised more than £200,000 to renovate the building and reopen it as a co-operative pub.
Since then, more than 60 community groups have used the Bevy to host events and regular sessions, such as Friday Friends, a weekly lunch and bingo group for older people, and the popular Spiral disability group social events.
The Bevy, in Hillside, Moulsecoomb, is currently running a series of educational talks in conjunction with Brighton University and the Sussex Learning Network. The dates and topics can be found here.
Bevy chairman Warren Carter said: “The Bevy is so much more than just a pub. Despite being near the bright lights of Brighton, Moulsecoomb and Bevendean can feel very isolated from the city.
“There are not many services and, with continuing cuts, any that are not statutory will go. Hosting events for free helps the Bevy be part of the glue that binds our communities together.”
The Bevy is also working with the Brighton Aldridge Community Academy to enable students to have apprenticeships and work experience at the pub. Last year BACA students cooked a four-course Christmas lunch for customers.
Brighton and Hove Mayor Pete West recently visited the pub and said: “The Bevy is making a huge difference in Bevendean and stands as a great model for other communities to adopt. I hope we’ll see many more Bevys springing up in the future.”
The pub has more than 700 shareholders and has previously won the Best Business in the Community Award two years in a row at the Argus Community Star Awards as well as an award from CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) for its design and architecture.
The winners are due to be announced on Wednesday 5 October at a ceremony in London.
On Saturday 30 July the Bevy is hosting “Show Us Yours” – a garden show – with competitions including best veg box and most tomatoes on a plant and a jam jar challenge.
The Bevy said: “Donations of cakes, jams and pickles happily accepted. Proceeds to the Friday Friends Wheelchair Fund.”
The event starts at noon. For more details, click here.
Claire Jacobs writes the blog Confessions of a Single Parent Pessimist.