Community rallies to support its most vulnerable

A community shop which reopened just days after it closed due to Covid-19, is now finalising plans for a delivery service to help its most vulnerable residents.

The Cavendish Community Shop is run by volunteers – but most of them are over 70 and are following the government’s advice to self-isolate to minimise risk of catching the virus at this time.

That left the community without its shop when it closed on Tuesday. West Suffolk councillor Jim Meikle worked with the parish council chair Malcolm Halliday and the community shop committee to find a solution.

The shop reopened on Thursday, staffed by a handful of volunteers who aren’t within the government’s at risk categories. More than 40 customers used the shop in the first day. More volunteers are being sought.

The shop will be open from 9am to 11am seven days a week and if demand exists and more volunteers come forward this may be expanded.

Plans are being finalised for a delivery service provided by the shop, businesses and community groups in the village to support the needs and welfare of those having to self-isolate or ill.

Councillor Meikle said: “We recognise that these are unprecedented times and that puts a lot of pressure on all of us. Many people are having to self-isolate at the moment. Many people may have struggled to get food and other items that they need in the supermarkets. Many people are in fear. But this situation can also bring out the best in us – people like our first volunteer Luci Fry who are coming forward to help and look after the most vulnerable in their community, and that is exactly what we are seeing in Cavendish.”

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