Village community shop in East Devon returns customer loyalty with £20 ‘festive cheer’ gifts for each home

A community shop in an East Devon village has spread festive cheer, giving each home a £20 gift as thanks for the residents’ support.

Otterton Community-run shop said it was able to give back to the village – gifting £20 shopping vouchers to 330 homes in the parish – in return for a ‘bumper’ two years trade.

The vouchers can be spent in the shop or donated to Otterton Relief in Need – the village charity that financially supports those facing hardship.

Otterton Community Shop chairman Jeremy Wakeling said the give-back to the community had been a long-held ambition since 2014, when the store was launched.

He said further community gifts could be possible if the shop continued to prosper.

Mr Wakeling said: “It was always the ambition of those who originally set up the shop back in 2014 that it would be able to give something back to the village and support local charities.

“It is fantastic that we can now do this.  The response we have had so far is amazing and I am delighted that we are able to bring a little extra Christmas cheer to the village.”

Otterton Community shop’s early Christmas gift of shopping vouchers worth £20 were delivered to homes in the village by volunteers.

Mr Wakeling said the support people had given to the enterprise over the past two years – and the commitment of the shop manager and a team of volunteers – had helped make the giveaway possible.

He hoped the scheme could be repeated, should the shop continue to thrive.

The shop, in Fore Street, is run by a part time manager and a team of 40 volunteers, boosted by extra helpers during lockdown who delivered newspapers and groceries to those isolating.

The shop has traded continuously and, apart from Christmas day, is open seven days a week.

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