A VILLAGE shop which co-ordinated the local coronavirus response has been celebrated for its efforts.

Bretforton Community Shop set up a telephone support service during lockdown to help those in need. This included services like providing medication and prescriptions.

The shop also began making and supplying ready meals for people who needed them using local produce and nearby chefs who had been furloughed.

Now, a charity campaign by the Plunkett Foundation celebrating local community businesses is honouring the shop and the efforts of its staff.

Chris Buckham, chairman of the shop's committee, said: "What was quickly realised was the shop was the one organisation at the heart of the village and could form a coordination and a lobbying point.

"The very first thing we did was set up an internet-based telephony system.

"At any one time if anyone had a need for anything they could just call.

"The lasting legacy is a new appreciation of what the shop means to the village.

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"After six years of being open it has restored a sense of ownership to the village."

The Plunkett Foundation helps rural communities deal with challenged including social isolation, employment and poverty by supporting shops, pubs, bakeries, farms and woodlands owned and run democratically by residents.

The campaign, Lockdown Stories, saw Mr Buckham filmed talking about the shop's efforts, with the videos being premiered at Plunkett's Virtual Community Business Fete on November 24.

James Alcock, Plunkett’s chief executive, said: “The story of Bretforton Community Shop is a truly inspiring one, and I am delighted that we are sharing it as part of our virtual Community Business Fete.

"This has been a year of tough challenges, but also one of great community spirit – and nowhere is that more evident than in the village of Bretforton."

Ed Powell, Partnership Manager at The Co-op said: “Holding high the wellbeing of the communities that Bretforton Community Shop have served through this crisis came across as such a natural response.

"As a community business, they are constantly listening to their community and adjusting their services to meet their need, even in the most challenging of times."