Banwell Community Pulling Together

Staff outside the Banwell store.

Staff outside the Banwell store. - Credit: Archant

The kind gestures of the local community in Banwell are said to be lifting the spirits of shop workers during the current pandemic.

Pictures of rainbows drawn by children and messages of thanks, brighten up the front window of the co-operative retailer in Knightcott Road.

Paying it forward, staff from the company have been helping the community by collecting fabric for Guys Marsh prison, where scrubs are being made for their local NHS.

As well as providing word searches and colouring pages for children, and encouraging expression through art, which has been displayed in their shop windows at other sites.

Mark Smith, chief executive of Southern Co-op, said: “We would like to say a big thank you to our members and customers who’ve done this. I’d also like to thank our colleagues for their hard work throughout, under very challenging circumstances.

“I’ve been especially impressed with their collective commitment, energy and how they have risen to the challenge.”

The Co-op is also considering how to continue supporting the community beyond the current crisis via the FareShare campaign, aimed at fighting hunger and food waste through the distribution of food to charities in the region.

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Gemma Lacey, director of sustainability and communications at Southern Co-op, said: “It is vital that we help those who are more vulnerable in our communities and that our support for charities and community groups extends beyond this critical time to help these organisations sustain their important work both now and in the future.

“We invite people to support our campaign, Southern Co-op has donated £50,000 to FareShare, the UK’s largest hunger fighting charity, to support the distribution of food to charities in the south. To help make a bigger impact, customers are being invited to add to this donation.”

For every £1 donated, FareShare is able to redistribute four meals, so a £5 donation equals 20 meals to vulnerable people.

You can make your donation in store, or online by logging on to