We recently received The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk Award from Clare Euston, HM Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, and Bridget McIntyre MBE, High Sheriff of Suffolk, in recognition of the tremendous contribution from all our volunteers to keep this important village facility open seven days a week throughout 2020 and 2021.
Between 23 March 2020 and 5 May 2021, our 54 volunteers have served 17,809 customers, one or two at a time as per Covid-19 regulations. We remained a safe place to shop and the car park queue was an opportunity to meet friends. It’s fair to say the shop became somewhat of a social magnet!
Our busiest days were at the beginning and on one extremely busy day when we sold 360 items, we took £554.28.
During lockdown, our volunteers took the opportunity to build a wonderful long porch to allow queuing in the rain, and more recently a new outdoor vegetable box.
We must not forget those volunteers who buy all the products at a time when the availability and cost of normal supplies varied so much. Just think of the toilet roll shortage! We sold 998 individual toilet rolls and we never ran out! Logistically, this was an impressive achievement considering they purchased some 63,036 items!
Financially, the shop is in a healthy position but because we were determined to keep our prices at a reasonable level, we found 2020 extremely challenging.
We would welcome any local residents who would like to help our shop in any way possible in the future. Just pop in and talk to a volunteer or email: [email protected] bentleystores.co.uk
Shop hours will continue to be 9am to 1.30pm on weekdays and 9am to noon on weekends and bank holidays. We only close on 25 and 26 December, 1 January and Easter Sunday.
The shop is a Community Interest Company and entirely volunteer-run so all our benefits are real village community benefits.
Thank you for your support, Bob Feltwell on behalf of all our volunteers