'Vital' village shop saved from closure
PUBLISHED: 12:20 10 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:20 10 December 2019
Copyright Jo Connor 2019
Dedicated villagers have raised £25,000 to save a 'vital' shop from closure.
Volunteers have worked around to clock to reopen the renamed Draycott Community Shop after it faced being shut down earlier in the year.
Concerned villagers rallied together to raise the money in five months and celebrated the store's opening with mulled cider and mince pies on November 30.
Villagers worked to transform the building within a month of taking it over, and the store will work to be as 'environmentally aware' as possible.
Thirty one people in Draycott will run the community shop, which consists of a part-time manager and 30 volunteers.
Committee chairman, Tim Cook, said: "We are delighted to be celebrating our official opening.
"The announcement earlier in the year that we might lose our village shop, which is a vital hub for the community, was a blow.
"However, thanks to the determination and commitment of the entire village, we were able to raise the funds we needed to save it."
The Draycott shop's committee decided to make the store a community hub after a questionnaire was sent to villagers over the summer who were in favour of the change.
Visitors to the store can enjoy its restored counter, which features photos of the village on a wall behind it, and shop-goers can now sit in a new window seat at the store.
A spokesman for Draycott Community Shop said: "Draycott's villagers are a shining example of how co-operation within a community can overcome the challenges of the current economic climate.
"Faced with the closure of the village shop and post office at the start of this year, villagers sprang into action and raised more than £25,000 through sales of shares in just five months."
The shop's poster competition winners Ariane and Bella, from Draycott and Rodney Stoke First School, opened the store to well-wishers on the day.
Draycott's shop is also part of Plastic Free Cheddar, and a milk vending machine serving Chew Valley Dairy products in glass bottles has been installed.
The community store also sells Cobbs of Cheddar meats, Times Past Cheese from Draycott, locally-sourced honey and other tasty goods from the West Country.