Local MP James Heappey performed a virtual opening of Brent Knoll’s new ’emergency shop’ today (Saturday, 18th April).
The village’s new shop provides a ‘bridge’ between the recent closure of the former shop and plans for a new ‘community shop’ during the Coronavirus outbreak, as Burnham-On-Sea.com reported here.
It supplies newspapers, bread, milk, groceries, and vegetable boxes – all provided by local suppliers.
Constituency MP James Heappey opened the shop in the village at 9am without breaching current Covid-19 rules by using a “live” video link on the shop’s Facebook page.
“Anyone was able to watch and listen to the official opening on the Facebook page,” explains John Mathews, a member of the team behind the creation of the Emergency Shop.
Volunteers will operate the shop for two hours per day (from 9-11am) on several days per week.
“We now have the support of the Plunkett Foundation, which has helped more than 300 other rural community shops to thrive, towards our longer-term hope of establishing a Community Shop,” adds Mr. Mathews.
Before the Corona-Virus crisis emerged, Brent Knoll conducted a public consultation survey on the concept of creating a “community shop” to replace the now closed village shop and Post Office. More than 150 people responded to that survey, with only one opposing the concept.
42 respondents offered to be volunteers to help run the shop, 26 offered to join the Steering Group, 12 people offered their professional skills to the project, and 93 agreed to become share-buying members at a cost of £50-£100.