A DECADE of campaigning which saw a village pub saved and transformed into a thriving centre for the community has been recognised with a national award.

The Rising Sun at Woodcroft was in danger of being converted into flats but local people came together to see the pub re-opened.

On Saturday (February 3), volunteers were presented with the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) Pub Saving Award.

Presenting the award at the pub in Coleford Road, CAMRA’s south west regional director Peter Bridle said he hoped the success of the Save Our Sun campaign would inspire others across the country.

He said: “The Rising Sun is a true labour of love.

“The community did not want to lose their pub and a lot of time, effort and dedication went into saving it.

“The pub is once again at the heart of its community serving locals and visitors alike.

“The Rising Sun’s story moved us so much in CAMRA that we have given it this national award and we hope it will inspire other communities up and down the country.

“For all these efforts and over a decade of campaigning, this is recognised by the Campaign for Real Ale and has won the 2023 Pub Saving Award.

“The pub saving award is an award for people who come together to save a pub that would

have otherwise been demolished or put to another use.

“We give this award out every year but in 2023 we had more entries than ever before, showing the dedication of communities and campaigners to save their pubs and what they mean to those communities.”

The award was received by Chair of the Save our Sun committee Dr Michelle Hayes who thanked the volunteers, staff, customers and local businesses who had supported the campaign. She also thanked CAMRA for its help – and particularly Geoff Sandles of the group’s Forest branch.

Dr Hayes also paid tribute to the planning department at the Forest Council who, she said, had been “incredibly fair”.

She said: “Thanks to the local community who believed in us and came with us the whole way.

“This place would be nothing without the amazing staff and managers.

“(Thanks also to) the customers, volunteers and the generosity of local businesses. It real restores your faith in humanity.

“My amazing committee were incredibly dedicated and put hundreds of hours in.

“I love that it brings the community and thank you CAMRA it is such an honour.”