Villagers are saying “cheers” to their long-standing landlady after she won a £10,000 cash prize to enhance the lives of her customers and neighbours.
Debbie Collinge, who this month will celebrate 10 years behind the bar at the Lord Nelson, Luddenden, also served up plenty of community spirit while pouring pints at the picturesque pub.
Her outstanding efforts in the summer to tend the pub’s hanging baskets and its floral beer garden earned her a Gold Award in the Yorkshire in Bloom contest.
And she has followed up that success by becoming the national winner of Enterprise Inns’ Community Hero award.
Debbie entered the competition, citing how the pub was a focal point of the village and hosted various community events.
The Lord Nelson was one of 18 regional finalists in the contest and delighted Debbie was then selected as national winner.
The £10,000 prize will be used to buy a small gritter to allow villagers to gain access to the pub and church; a defibrillator, which Debbie has been trained to use; a marquee and equipment for village events; free computer and wi-fi use and to organise a cycling time trial in anticipation of next year’s Tour de France.
She said: “It’s a great honour to be the national winner.”