Dalwood’s starring role in ‘rural Oscars’

Volunteers Yvonne Harrison outside Dalwood's award winning community shop. Photo by Chris Carson

Volunteers Yvonne Harrison outside Dalwood's award winning community shop. Photo by Chris Carson - Credit: Archant

Village’s pioneering community shop is highly commended in the latest countryside awards

Dalwood’s community shop and post office has been named as one of the best in the west – for a second time.

It has been ‘highly commended’ in the latest Countryside Alliance awards – known as the rural Oscars.

The contest, in five categories, attracts hundreds of entries across the region which runs from Land’s End to the Wiltshire and Hampshire borders.

Dalwood was a finalist in the village shop section and the 45 strong team of volunteers who take it in turns to run the store are delighted to have gained the accolade for a second time since they began some 11 years ago.

One of the early pioneers, it is now one of 300 community shops operating across the country – 28 of them in Devon.

Management committee secretary Sheila Beak said Dalwood’s operation was seen as a model for others and they were currently helping villagers at Hawkchurch set up a similar outlet in their village, hoping to launch in July.

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“We were one of the first in Devon and we are still going strong,” she told The Herald.

“The shop could not exist without our fantastic team of volunteers. They man the till, go shopping and undertake financial and admin duties. Their ages vary from 18 to over 80 and they are all deeply committed to the success of their village shop.

“We are very proud that in 11 years not one shift has been lost .This was extremely important during the winter of 2011 and this was recognized when we won a competition on how community shops react in a crisis. The entire village pulled together to make sure the shop had supplies and could make deliveries to the more vulnerable.”

Dalwood community shop aims to provide a good range of essentials which vary from apple juice to washing materials along with fresh and frozen produce supplied locally and through Sainsburys and the Co-Op, with frozen meat supplied by award winning Complete Meats, of Axminster.

The Post Office is open three mornings a week and can supply a whole host of services, including banking with most of the leading banks as well as supplying currencies to order.

The shop is open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm; Saturday 8.30 am to 4pm; Sunday 8.30am to 12.30pm.

The Post Office is open: Monday 9am to 11.30am; Tuesday 9am to 11.30am and Thursday 9 am to 1.30pm.

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