Volunteer power praised as Thorndon Community Shop celebrates milestone

The Thorndon Community shop celebrated five years of success on Sunday ANL-161008-154134009

The Thorndon Community shop celebrated five years of success on Sunday ANL-161008-154134009

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The bunting was up as Thorndon Community Shop celebrated five very successful years of trading.

Thorndon Community Shop marked the milestone by giving out free raffle tickets throughout the week. The tickets were drawn on August 7 with the winners receiving vouchers to spend in the shop. The shop, which is in the car park of the Black Horse Inn in Thorndon, is run entirely by volunteers.

A varied amount of roles are shared between them, with the main job being behind the counter, however even the accountants are volunteers.

The shop was originally owned by Darren Hayward, landlord of the Black Horse Inn, who then gave it to the community to run after so many volunteers came initially to help. To get it off the ground, donations were later made by the Thorndon Parish and Community Councils, and grants were also received from Suffolk County Council and Mid Suffolk District Council.

“Some people come in daily for the paper while others come in to do their weekly shops,” said Marion Ravenhill, a committee member who helps run the community shop, “They think it’s just as cheap as the supermarkets.”

When asked why the shop was so successful she explained: “People want to support local businesses” — and their support shows.

She also said how not everyone in the village can drive and people find it hard to get out, so the shop provides somewhere else for the people to shop, work or socialise, and sticks by what it says - ‘by the community, for the community’.

The shop is open seven days a week, all year, with the only exception being Christmas Day. Through Monday to Friday, the shop opens 8am to 4pm. Saturdays and Holidays change to 8am to 12pm, and Sundays 8.30am to 12pm.

It stocks various products from local sources, such as fresh bread from Tudor Bakehouse, which people from all over come for, and bacon from award-winning Palfrey and Hall.

The shop also has a loyalty card scheme which was introduced a year ago, and is growing to be increasingly popular.