Former West Marden pub landlord who raised £110,000 for the NHS is shortlisted for award
A former West Marden pub landlord and his wife, who spent more than 90 days in intensive care with coronavirus, have been announced as national finalists in The Great British Pub Awards - Pub Heroes.
Toby and Donna Morgan, who ran The Victoria Inn together for nine years, have been shortlisted in the Charity Champion category.
Donna contracted coronavirus in March and was admitted to intensive care at St Richard’s hospital, where she remained for 92 days – becoming the hospital’s longest-standing Covid patient.
In meantime, Toby raised an incredible £110,000 for the hospital and the NHS – read more here.
The pair have now left the pub to focus on Donna’s rehabilitation.
Toby said: “I am taken aback with being shortlisted in these awards.
“This all started because I was inspired by the incredible work the NHS frontline staff do every day and how they cared for my wife in her many hours of need.
“Each time I rang the hospital to see how Donna was, I would get chatting to the nurse of doctor on the other end, I was on first name terms with over 60 nurses by the end!
“My first donation was coffee. With the help of friends, we clubbed together and donated six coffee machines and 4,000 pods to the hospital.
“Things then began to escalate, from donating goodie bags to starting up a takeaway Fish and Chips enterprise at the pub, many of my friends, family and pub regulars joined in with raising funds for the cause.”
The Great British Pub Awards Pub Heroes recognise and reward the incredible efforts by pubs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With over 600 entries across fifteen categories, the shortlisted pubs will now face a public vote to be crowned overall winner.
Each winner will be offered the opportunity to submit an application for up to £10,000 each to fund business improvement or upgrade or to put towards a community project.
Additionally, Coca-Cola will fund a further £1,000 donation to a local charity or good cause supported by each of the winning pubs.
Toby said: “It is bitter-sweet to leave the Victoria Inn, we loved that pub.
“However, Donna and I are continuing to work with St Richard’s hospital and have created a support network for the patients, friends and family of the ITU.
“Our aim is to expand this across the country offering professional counselling, practical and emotional support, as well as legal and financial advice.
“We are now at the mercy of friends, family and Victoria-customers, to vote for us!
“Please get online, follow the link below, and vote for the Victoria Inn!”
To cast your vote, follow this link.