It’s Summer Party, BBQ and family time! At last we can meet for social occasions and you can trust your local shop to have everything you need for a great time. We have burgers, bangers and brioche, firelighters and fizz, coleslaw, charcoal and lots of cakes! You can also be reassured that, despite “Freedom Day” last month, a shared sense of responsibility has meant that many customers and staff still choose to wear masks and respect each other’s space in the shop, reminding us that we are not fully out of the woods yet. Our excellent Health and Safety officer, Anne Colville, is ensuring that we continue closely to follow Government guidelines despite these being somewhat confusing at times!

Your village shop has indeed come through the unprecedented challenges of COVID with flying colours, thanks to the vision, dedication and commitment of our leaders, staff and volunteers, and the invaluable support of our customers. A remarkable achievement, and we hope shareholders will feel proud when they hear Steve Smith’s report at the AGM in the Autumn.

Margaret, our Volunteer Coordinator, has been particularly busy over the past month tidying up our “Three Rings” Database in the aftermath of lockdown. The details of several people who had willingly responded to our urgent and varied needs, but who have now returned to work, have been removed from the (data protected) system and we owe each and every one of them a huge vote of thanks. To those who were able to stay on we offer our deepest gratitude; their generous and repeated gifts of time, talents and humour have been invaluable. The database is now far more representative of our true position and the concurrent review led to a successful volunteer recruitment drive. We are delighted to report that new village resident, Sara, completed her training just in time for the holidays and has already covered one or two shifts very successfully – well done! Two more people have also stepped forward and should be learning the ropes this month; it will be great to have them on board. In addition, we are able to introduce a new teenager to the team; Grace will be on duty every other weekend and has already proved to be a bundle of efficient energy and charm. Do welcome them all if you happen to see them. If you are thinking of joining us please feel free to raise any questions with those on duty or of course with Margaret on 07917 124119.

Still on the subject of Volunteers, the long-awaited and oft-postponed Volunteers’ Meeting has finally been fixed for Monday, 27th September at 7.30pm in the Village Hall. It will be an opportunity not only for the sharing of ideas and information but also for celebrations and thanks as we move steadily towards an increasing return to normality. Fingers firmly crossed please, everyone!

Annie Whitchurch