Pub holds fundraising day for charity after it helped its customers

Sharon Wenman, landlord Jake Kettridge and Anna Denby after their charity headshave at the Plough and Barleycorn, in Tempest Avenue, Cowplain
Sharon Wenman, landlord Jake Kettridge and Anna Denby after their charity headshave at the Plough and Barleycorn, in Tempest Avenue, Cowplain

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Crowds flocked to a family fundraising day at the Plough and Barleycorn in aid of a charity that works to improve life after brain injury.

Jake Ketteridge, the new landlord of the Plough and Barleycorn, in Tempest Avenue, Cowplain, said he was delighted to see such strong support from the community.

Jake, 28, took over the reins at the Marston’s-run pub three months ago.

He said: ‘The first thing I wanted to do was to get the pub back to being a community pub.

‘Two customers – Anna and Andy – came in for lunch. They told me about their story and it touched my heart, so rather than fundraise for a large charity where you are not quite sure where the money ends up, I thought we would do something that helps people in our community.’

Andy Denholm, 43, from Waterlooville, suffered a brain injury in 2015 brought on by stress and trauma.

Andy, and his wife Anna, were supported by charity Headway.

As a way of saying thank you for that help, Anna set about organising the fundraiser and was grateful when Jake let her use the pub’s grounds.

Scores of people came to the day on Saturday, April 15 – and more than £1,100 was raised.

Andy said: ‘It was a great family day, a lot more people turned out than what we expected. It was really busy.

‘Jake was looking for a cause to support – and we suggested Headway.

‘A lot of people don’t understand braven injuries, they can happen in all sorts of ways such as stroke, heart attacks, epilepsy and trauma, so it’s vital to help support Headway to raise awareness.

‘They gave me so much support and helped me to understand more about brain injuries. I have not come to terms with mine 100 per cent but it has certainly helped being able to meet other people in the same situation.’

The pub’s fun day saw Steve Benham, who plays Fat Heather from Harry Hill’s TV Burp, make a special appearance.

There were stalls, games and activities – plus Anna and her friend Sharon Wenman had their hair shaved off.

Jake said the pub was hopeful of arranging another day later this summer.

In the meantime, Jake said he was looking forward to bringing more events to the pub – and he encouraged people to come and check out the place.

Jake, who is originally from Poole but now lives above the pub, said: ‘Since I have taken over we have grown our menu and our events – the feedback has been great with five star ratings on Trip Advisor. The atmosphere is different, it’s a massive improvement.’