Findon Village Store
Well, I’d like to be able to say that blue skies and a gentle sun welcomed us on the morning of the ‘Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service’ ceremony, but, instead, we woke to the sound of driving rain. Not the best weather when a marquee had to be erected and preparations completed within a tight timeframe. But, thankfully, the weather improved suddenly and dramatically, and things were able to go ahead without too many tweaks.
Sometimes it’s easy to take what the shop does for granted; everyone focuses on their bit, and we lose sight of the bigger picture. So, it was opportune when the Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex, Lady Emma Barnard, the mayor of Worthing, Henna Chowdhury, and Hugh Bonneville, who was on the interviewing panel and needs no further introduction, spelt out exactly what the community of Findon has achieved. Together, we have bought shares in the shop, set it up, stepped forward during lockdowns, and now, five years on, ‘second generation’ volunteers are coming on board to consolidate and maintain momentum. The QAVS award is the equivalent of an MBE, and is not granted lightly.
Our MP, Andrew Griffiths, was unable to attend the ceremony, but visited the shop instead to offer his congratulations.
Many specialist teams of volunteers worked heroically to make the day a spectacular success. To all of them we all owe a deep debt of gratitude. The list is too long to mention here, but the Management Committee will be sending individual personal letters thanking them for their specific contributions. We could not have managed without them. They were, quite simply, wonderful.
Special mention, however, should be made of the following businesses for their contributions: Andrew and Jen at The Black Horse; Daisy at Dee Dee’s; Dylan and Chrissie at Findon Garden Centre; David and Kay at Findon Manor; Sally at The Gun Inn; Arif and Melania at The Tadjar; Sarah at The Village House, and Richard Davison.
The afternoon was very well attended: volunteers past and present (and maybe future?); committee members; shareholders, and customers. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, familiar friends, to put faces to the names we see on the volunteer rota, and enjoy the wonderful canapés.
And now to other matters … You have probably seen Maggie Martin’s beautiful greeting cards of Sunflowers, to support Ukraine. Maggie will create Findon Village Store Christmas cards this year, which will hopefully be for sale in early November.
Royal Mail workers are stepping up their strikes in November. Strike dates include Black Friday week and Cyber Monday. Findon Post Office will be open throughout, but advise that overseas Christmas posting is done as soon as possible to avoid any backlog. It might be good to get parcels tracked or signed for so that customers can monitor packages throughout any strikes. You don’t want that precious pair of socks for great aunt Edna to go missing!
You may have noticed that postage stamps are getting bigger, and are coming into the digital age. The theory is that customers will be able to watch and share exclusive Shaun the Sheep(!) videos via the barcode using the Royal Mail App. What it means in practice is that the stamps we have been using will not be valid after 31st January 2023. So, please, look through your pockets, wallets, purses and drawers, and root out all your non-barcoded stamps. You can either use them before January 31st 2023, or swap them for barcoded ones using Royal Mail’s ‘Swap Out service’. PLEASE NOTE: You cannot do this through the post office. Please go to www.royalmail.com/barcodedstamps for more details and to print a form. Your old stamps can then be swapped for new, barcoded ones using the FREEPOST address. Good luck!