Early Christmas gift

Photo of Abby Davies, 10 (left) and Chloe Jones, 9 (right) with vouchers to accompany.

Residents of an East Devon parish received an early Christmas gift when shopping vouchers worth £20 were given to every household by the village’s community-run shop.

After a bumper two years’ trade, Otterton Community shop was in a position to give back to the village and this week its volunteers took to the streets to deliver vouchers to each of the parish’s 330 households.

The vouchers may be redeemed in the shop or donated to the village charity, Otterton Relief in Need, that gives financial support to those less fortunate.

Photo of Abby Davies, 10 (left) and Chloe Jones, 9 (right) with vouchers to accompany

Community shop chairman Jeremy Wakeling said the support local people had given to the enterprise over the past two years and the commitment of the shop manager and a team of volunteers had helped make the giveaway possible. He hoped the scheme might be repeated, should the shop continue to thrive.

Mr Wakeling said: “It was always the ambition of those who originally set up the shop back in 2014 that it would be able to give something back to the village and support local charities.  It is fantastic that we can now do this.  The response we have had so far is amazing and I am delighted that we are able to bring a little extra Christmas cheer to the village.”

The shop is run by a part time manager and a team of 40 volunteers, boosted by extra helpers during lockdown who delivered newspapers and groceries to those isolating.  The shop has traded continuously and, apart from Christmas day, is open seven days a week.