A VOLUNTEER-run village shop has become a lifeline for its community after Covid-19 closed the village hall and pub.

East Morton Community Shop has managed to remain open even after many of its older volunteers had to isolate at home during the lockdown.

Other members of the 50-strong team of volunteers stepped up to ensure the shop, set up in April 2020, could continue to open six days a week.

As part of National Volunteers Week, bosses at the shop this week issued a public thank you to their team for giving their time and dedication.

Sheila Barton, on behalf of the shop, said it was important to recognise the “amazing” contribution of volunteers to keep things going.

“We are really proud of what we have been able to achieve in our first year of opening, in particular the impact of Covid-19 and how our volunteers have stepped up and kept everything going in difficult circumstances.  

“We have been able to support the community in a way we never envisaged, but have received fantastic feedback. The shop has been a focal point for the village, a social hub with distancing and safety precautions in place, and a lifeline for some.”

The community shop, open every day except Sunday, sells basic groceries and fresh produce, plus cards and plants, with everything sourced from local suppliers.

She added:”The people in the shop are from our local community so we understand the needs of people here, and offer a personal, friendly and responsive service, with volunteers going above and beyond to offer extra assistance where needed.

“Although we have had to reduce our hours of opening during lockdown to allow for social distancing and adequate cleaning, and for deliveries, we have managed to stay open most of the day.

“Some of our experienced volunteers have had to step back during lockdown, but others have come forward, bringing fresh energy and different kinds of experience with them.

“Some have worked in a shop before but most haven’t. No previous experience is necessary. Training and support is available and we learn all the time.

“Meeting new people and learning new things is part of the fun of volunteering.”