Village pub recognised for lockdown community work

White Lion Selling

The licensees of a Kent village pub, The White Lion in Selling, have been recognised for their community work during the Covid-19 pandemic

After being secretly nominated for an award by local residents, with a further endorsement from the parish council, licensees Karen Johnson and partner Dave Thompson were presented with a Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC) Community Award last Thursday (May 20), jointly awarded by the High Sheriff of Kent, Kent County Council and the Kent Association of Local Councils.

Throughout both lockdowns, and in the face of lengthy periods of enforced pub closure, the couple have helped fellow villagers in a number of ways, including shopping and collecting prescriptions. They have also organised a number of popular online quizzes and over the Christmas period were behind a village-wide Secret Santa event. They also offered a takeaway meal service, which proved particularly valuable to the more lonely and vulnerable living locally. This ranged from fish and chips and pies to traditional Sunday roasts.

Licensee Karen, who was born and bred in nearby Faversham, said: “We’ve always felt strongly that while The White Lion needs to attract people from outside the area to be viable as a business, as a village pub it is really important to be at the centre of the community, a place that residents can feel is theirs. A place where they will find many forms of support.”

Karen and David have now been at the Shepherd Neame pub for four years, during which time they have grown to both love Selling and play an active role in village life. “We love living here and feel that during lockdown we just did what friends and neighbours should for each other,” continued Karen. “But we were delighted to receive this award. It is fantastic to know that what we have been doing at The White Lion is so appreciated.”

The White Lion is a traditional village pub offering a range of real ale and quality lagers, good wine and delicious home-cooked food. Just minutes from picturesque Perry Wood, it offers panoramic views of the Kent Downs and is popular with villagers, dog walkers, ramblers, cyclists and horse riders.