Emergency shop opening to provide store essentials for villagers during lockdown

Brent Knoll village shop closed on March 1.

Brent Knoll village shop closed on March 1. - Credit: Google Street View

An emergency shop in Brent Knoll will open this weekend.

Caroline Chennells and John Mathews standing beside Brent Knoll Village Shop.

Caroline Chennells and John Mathews standing beside Brent Knoll Village Shop. - Credit: Brent Knoll Village Shop

The store plans to sell newspapers, bread, milk, groceries and vegetable boxes from the regional suppliers, which will open on Saturday.

The emergency shop will act as a bridge between the recent closure of the village shop and plans for a new community shop, which is being orchestrated by a steering group committee in Brent Knoll.

Steering group member, David Sturgess, said: “Our plan is to re-open the closed village shop in Brent Knoll on Saturday as an emergency shop, which volunteers will staff for two hours per day, from 9-11am, five days a week.

“We’ll be closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.

“We are now waiting to hear whether the Plunkett Foundation – the charity that has helped more than 300 other rural community shops to thrive – will provide its support,

“Meanwhile, we need to do something to help the isolated people in our village to have access to basic products.

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“Right now, we need the 42 people who responded to our community shop survey to say that they are also willing to help with this initiative.”

In February, a public consultation outlined the possibility of creating a community shop in Brent Knoll, to replace its closed village shop and Post Office.

More than 600 leaflets were distributed to homes in the village, and, out of those who responded, 149 people out of 150 surveyed agreed to the initiative.

Forty-two respondents put themselves forward as volunteers to help run the shop, 26 wanted to join the store steering group, 12 people offered their professional skills to the project and 93 agreed to become shareholders at a cost of between £50-£100.

The shop team is also launching a Brent Knoll Bake-Off, to encourage people to bake cakes, biscuits and scones to sell at the emergency shop.

Mr Sturgess added: “We want our neighbours to use their isolated hours to bake cakes, biscuits, and scones that can be sold in our emergency shop to help cover the costs of such things as electricity for the refrigerator.”

Brent Knoll emergency store will open on Saturday at 9am.

For more information, email David.sturgess@tiscali.co.uk