'It means so much' - Community's stalwart landlord shortlisted for Pride of Britain Award
PUBLISHED: 11:18 22 September 2019 | UPDATED: 09:55 23 September 2019
A pub landlord from mid Norfolk has been shortlisted for the Pride of Britain Awards, after years of "innovative and creative support" of local charities and good causes.
Paul Sandford, who lives in Dereham and runs The Railway Tavern on Yaxham Road, has become something of a local hero in his hometown.
He is one of four finalists nominated in his category for the prestigious award, which this year marks its 20th anniversary, and said he felt "very humbled" to be put forward for it.
"It means so much to be nominated.
"The messages and comments I've had from friends and strangers have blown me away."
The 51-year-old has been nominated for his tireless support of local charities and causes.
His efforts include helping organisations such as the town's drop-in centre The Listening Post, which was established in memory of Jordie Rae - a much-loved young man from Dereham who took his own life last year.
He was also a huge supporter of Denver's Journey, which saw people from around the globe join together to help fundraise for four-year-old Denver Clinton, of Mattishall, after he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Denver spent the last few months of his life making memories with his family and died on Valentine's Day this year.
And another brainchild of the popular landlord is the music festival Hugfest, which he founded more than six years ago after his friend Adrian "Huggy" Hargreaves died just six weeks after being diagnosed with oesophageal cancer.
Mr Sandford added: "I'm very privileged to have the platform to be able to help people in the local community and further afield and I will continue to help and support for as long as I am able, with the support of my amazing family and friends."
He also praised his parents for "inspiring him to help" others.
"Dad specifically the armed forces and mum for various cancer charities."
The Pride of Britain Awards celebrate the extraordinary acts, bravery and spirit of members of the British public who have been nominated and voted for by those who believe in them most.
Presented by Carol Vorderman, the ceremony attracts an array of celebrities - but the real stars are the award winners themselves.
The awards ceremony will be held at Grosvenor House in London on October 31 and will be screened on ITV in November 2019.