Barford community shop celebrates its 15th birthday - The Leamington Observer

Barford community shop celebrates its 15th birthday

Leamington Editorial 14th Nov, 2023   0

BARFORD Village Shop welcomed its first customers through the doors 15 years ago.

And volunteers and customers got together for a special celebration evening to mark the shop’s anniversary of the opening on November 1, 2008.

The community effort saw £250,000 was raised to build and open the shop through fundraising, grants, and a share issue to over 500 residents.

Today the shop is run by around 80 volunteers, aged from 14 to 84, either working a three-hour shift or filling in when needed, along with a full-time paid manager.

Some of the younger volunteers have helped as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award.

The shop, which has become the social heart of Barford and proved invaluable to residents and visitors, serves some 1,500 customers a week.

It has remained open, even throughout the pandemic, and the only day it closes is Christmas day.

It sells every day and essential items including fresh, local produce, as well as newspapers, fruit, vegetables, groceries, medicines, and alcohol. There is a deli area, bakery, internet café and Post Office.

Shop manager Corenna Jennings said “We are delighted to be celebrating our 15th anniversary. The volunteers are all different, but they are all willing to give up their time to provide a vital service to the community. The shop has been described as a `Tardis` as customers are so surprised with the range of products that we sell. I would like to thank all the volunteers, past and present and the lovely customers that have made my job so enjoyable.”

Over the 15 years the shop has won various awards and was visited by HRH Duke of Kent when he opened the enhanced King George’s field in 2016.

The shop has also been a financial success. All loans have been repaid and a further surplus of over £197,000 has been handed over to Barford Community Charity Fund to fund good causes in the village.


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