Bishop Wilton Community Shop provides vital lifeline to residents during its first year in operation

The popular Bishop Wilton Community Shop has celebrated its first birthday.

Monday, 8th February 2021, 3:25 pm
The Bishop Wilton Community Shop has provided a vital lifeline for residents during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Launched less than two months before the first coronavirus lockdown, the shop has become a vital service for residents during the pandemic.

The community shop was launched to bring a much-needed facility back to the village after the previous store closed in June 2018, and also to provide local services and a social hub for villagers.

Covid-19 provided an immediate opportunity for the shop to play a key role in the community.

Residents at the official opening of the shop before the start of the Covid-19 restrictions.

A service was set up to provide home delivery for local residents who needed to isolate or shield – and the shop became a way for locals to buy groceries without having to drive to other local areas.

Annina Diston, who had the original idea for a community shop and now sits on its committee, said: “The shop is a great example of what a community can achieve.

“More than 70 volunteers help run the shop and its 231 members represent almost half of Bishop Wilton’s population.

“The shop’s strong first year sales has allowed the team to hire a full-time manager.

“What the community and our volunteers have achieved to launch the shop and run it effectively against the backdrop of the pandemic has been incredible.

“We want the shop and cafe to be a linchpin of village life, a vital lifeline for those without transport or who are vulnerable, a meeting place and a communication hub.

“As we enter our second year still in the midst of the pandemic, we hope that we can continue to support our community.”

Village resident Sarah Berry, a GP, hailed the staff at the shop.

She said: “It is hard to see how the local community would have got through the last year without the community shop.

“Recently, one of my children had a temperature and we had to isolate. Urgently needing supplies, I called the shop and within an hour a volunteer had delivered our groceries. It provides a great service for its customers and the wider Bishop Wilton community.”