Big plans for the future of the community shop.

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From humble beginnings Offwell Community Shop has gone from strength to strength and this year it celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Volunteers also have big plans for its future in the pipeline - in the form of a new, larger shop.

“It will be bigger and will mean we can sell more lines and display the goods properly. A lot of the problems are that we can’t display because we haven’t got the space. The new shop will be more customer friendly,” says shop volunteer Helen Garwood. “We hope to sell a lot more local lines and have more from local sources.”

Fundraising activities will be taking place in the coming months to help pay for the costs of the new building. Grants are also being sought.

“We are all very excited about it, adds Helen.

The new shop, which is by the village hall, will remain on the same site.

Speaking of the 10-year milestone Helen added: “It is amazing. We didn’t think we would still be in here. The first week we opened we literally had half a dozen bottles of milk, a few cans, and a couple of packs of cereals.

“We are still helping everybody in the village.”

The shop, which started in June 2004, is not only used by locals in the village it also attracts customers from other outlying villages.

It is run by a dedicated team of volunteers, who have been invaluable to ensure the facility continues to benefit everyone in the village. “The volunteers are vital. If we didn’t have volunteers we wouldn’t be here,” says Helen. Official celebrations to mark the anniversary will be taking place later on in the year.

The community shop is always on the look out for more volunteers. Anyone interested is urged to call 01404 831121 for more information.

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