What a fantastic blog by volunteer Becca. She is exactly right about the value of our community and how wonderful it is to see the many different ways in which we are all supporting each other. We have seen this same dedication within our little shop in the form of staff pulling together to find ways to keep us working for the community and volunteers stepping in to connect us to our customers.
We have had to make a number of changes to the ways in which we operate. The shop has remained open but we have taken many precautions to keep the staff and customers safe. These include taking card payments only, stocking shelves in quiet periods (see Paul and Chris here hard at work), encouraging social distancing and extra cleaning duties.
We also have many new tasks to manage. Currently the most sought-after product in the shop is ….you guessed it, flour. You have all been busy baking and creating at home so in order to keep that going we’ve been buying flour in bulk and our team have been bagging it down at an incredible rate each afternoon. It flies out as fast as we can bag it so we appreciate your patience while we get this done. Here’s Leah busy doing a great job at keeping up with demand.
On our list of future goals have been the setting up of a veg box scheme and also an online shop. Well, these goals had to be very quickly realised just a few weeks ago in order to be able to keep our customers supplied with fresh fruit and veg and all of their Village Greens’ favourites. Once again, a big thank you to those customers who have used these new services and for the helpful feedback and patience with us as we learn how to manage them.
Our veg and fruit boxes are available on the same days the fresh produce arrives in the shop so that you get it at its best. On these days (Mondays and Thursdays) we’re very busy in the shop preparing all of the fruit and veg for the shop and then straight on to the filling of our boxes. Here’s Julian busy filling the boxes in the sunshine.
Once ready we call on our group of volunteers who are ready and waiting for the signal and then one by one they visit the shop to collect the boxes for delivery. We owe a lot to our volunteers without whom we could not offer this essential service so a great big thank you to Barry, Charlotte, Debbie, Denise, Jean, John, Lucy, Mark, Mike, Pam and Rachel.
And if you are interested in our fruit and/or veg boxes you can find out more via this link www.village-greens-coop.co.uk/shop
It’s not just fruit and veg boxes we’ve been delivering. We know that, whilst it’s important to get your five a day, there are other essentials (….and a few treats) that you have been missing. For those who are isolating and those who would just prefer to reduce contact and not to come into the shop we have been preparing shopping and managing payments over the internet.
If you would like to use this service you can email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org, pay online using secure payment and our volunteers will deliver to you (local deliveries only).
You may have spotted Chris around Prestwich on the new Village Greens electric bike which we have on loan to do deliveries to the local area. When he has a spare moment he heads out to drop off any deliveries that are waiting. In addition to this we still have the shop to run so we appreciate your patience if you do place an order. We work through these as quickly as we can. Here you can see Steph busy putting a customer order together and Chris setting off to do another delivery.
So as you can see, life here at Village Greens has changed quite a bit but everyone has pulled together to achieve the same goal: to ensure Prestwich continues to have the option of its ethical supermarket both during these strange times and after. Thank you to our customers for continuing to shop with us and for trusting us to keep up our provision. We are grateful for your understanding and support as we learn to adapt to these changing times. Take care everybody, we wish you all the best of health.