• Countryside Alliance Team

Community Spirit Flourishes at Village Shop

Rachel Davies delivers toilet rolls to Broadwindsor Community Stores. Picture by Nathalie Roberts.

Broadwindsor Community Stores is giving out free toilet rolls to its vulnerable and self-isolating customers during the coronavirus outbreak.

The shop, which relies on volunteers to keep it going, was given the welcome gift by local resident Rachel Davies. She is senior credit controller for Coram, the parent company of Impey, which manufactures shower trays for walk-in showers. The company is based at Ilton, near Ilminster, and Somerset, employs around 100 on the site. Shop chairman Andrew Hookings said: “With the coronavirus taking hold of the country, Coram took the decision to close its headquarters and have staff work at home. “Rachel approached me and asked if the shop would be interested in having around 400 toilet rolls on the basis that they were given free to vulnerable people or people self-isolating within our community. “This coincided with us developing a delivery service for people in our community within these groups, and we’ve been issuing a free pack of toilet rolls with each order.” Mr Hookings said the donation would be a great comfort to those within the community least able to get out and go shopping. "Sadly, this dreadful virus, which does not discriminate who it attacks, has caused many people to forget about caring for others, often the most vulnerable in our society. “Instead, many people have stockpiled essentials instead of buying just what they need. This kind gesture will help many of the most vulnerable in our community, for which we are extremely grateful.” He also paid tribute to Broadwindsor Craft Centre, which had to shut its doors just days before Mothering Sunday. “Owners Sarah and Colin Williams donated all their fresh fruit, vegetables, other groceries and their wonderful cakes to us, which has gone down extremely well with our customers,” Mr Hookings said. The shop is currently open but facing difficulties in getting some supplies. Entry is now restricted to one person in the shop at any one time and customers are required to take responsibility to self-distance when queuing outside. The shop is now closing at 4pm daily apart from Sunday, when it is closed at 11am. It is also being closed on a Tuesday and Friday morning for one hour for deliveries to be stacked on the shelves. Mr Hookings said: “We’ve been inundated with offers from our community of help with deliveries and we will keep the shop open and maintain supplies as long as we can. Our aim as ever is to fulfil the needs of our community in terms of groceries and essential items but at the same time that our staff, volunteers are customers are kept safe.” “Our community shop, its staff and committee are doing everything we can to keep our shop open, shelves stocked and everyone who works in or is a customer of the shop as safe as we can. “I appreciate the support we are having from existing customers and new customers alike. My plea to our new customers is: please remember where you shopped once this virus is over and normality returns. We hope that you will continue to support us in the future.’ The village also has a one o’clock ‘singalong’ with daily music requests played through a loudspeaker from a house in the village square. The resulting playlist will be used at a celebration party when the lockdown is over.

Submitted by: Maddie Grigg (Facebook)

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