Padiham landlady is pulling in the pounds for charity in her new role

Toni-Anne Mortimer (pictured in the orange dress in the centre) with her husband Lee (to the right of Toni-Anne) and customers from the Hare and Hounds in Padiham enjoy a day at Ripon Races.
Toni-Anne Mortimer (pictured in the orange dress in the centre) with her husband Lee (to the right of Toni-Anne) and customers from the Hare and Hounds in Padiham enjoy a day at Ripon Races.

Mum-of-two Toni-Anne Mortimer had never worked behind a bar in her life.

Yet in just six months she has taken over as landlady at one of Padiham's best known watering holes and raised just over £1,000 for charities close to the hearts of her regulars.

Toni-Anne Mortimer, who has taken over as landlady at the Hare and Hounds in Padiham with her husband Lee.

Toni-Anne Mortimer, who has taken over as landlady at the Hare and Hounds in Padiham with her husband Lee.

And Toni-Anne (32) has described her new role as landlady at the Hare and Hounds as 'life changing.'

She said: "I saw the owner advertised for a tenant and I just decided it was something I wanted to go for.

"I have never worked in the licensed trade before but I love it. We took a big risk coming here but it has been worth it."

Toni-Anne is mum to Dainton (14) and 10-year-old Ruby and she is helped in her new role by her husband Lee.

Toni-Anne who is from Padiham, was all set to become a PE teacher after gaining a degree so this is a complete change of direction for her. She is a former gym and fitness instructor who has worked in sport all her life.

She said: "I am a real people person.

"I enjoy talking to people and listening to their stories. We specialise in cask ales and if someone asks for a certain one they like I will do my best to find it for them."

Since she took over the reins in February Toni-Anne and Lee have arranged a couple of outings and day trips that have been well supported and enjoyed by her customers.

Toni-Anne's first fundraiser, a raffle and auction for a £600 voucher donated by the Carpet Market in Burnley, raised the incredible amount of £748 for the Macmillan Cancer charity. And a football card sale for the same charity brought in £250.

And in May Toni-Anne and her customers raised £200 for the British Heart Foundation.

Toni-Anne said: "The charities we have raised the money for have special significance for a couple of people who come into the Hare and Hounds who have lost loved ones.

"Customers have been so generous and I would like to think this the beginning of more to come because as a pub we are willing to help and support many charities and help beat cancer."