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The Chalke Valley Stores, known locally as the HUB, is situated in the United Reformed Church in the centre of the village of Broad Chalke in the heart of the beautiful Chalke Valley, officially designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It comprises a Shop, a Post Office and a Coffee Shop.
In addition to providing a service to the local villages, we also welcome visitors from all over the country – indeed increasingly from all over the world. Many come to the Chalke Valley to explore the area which is rich in history and has many places of great interest to visit as well as events to attend.
Ellen Smets, the HUB’s manager, is supported by Judith, Sharon and Sarah plus a large team of volunteers whose involvement adds to a strong sense of community and helps make the experience of visiting the HUB extremely relaxed, and the welcome genuinely warm and friendly. Wherever possible our products are sourced from small local growers and suppliers who are dedicated to the use of fresh ingredients and very often to traditional methods of production.
Residents of the Chalke Valley use the HUB for their essential shopping as we sell a wide variety of household goods, stationery, fresh meats and vegetables as well as drinks and take-away snacks. Others use it for a coffee in the morning, a light meal of homemade soup at lunch time or tea with fresh cakes and scones in the afternoon. In addition the Post Office provides a full range of postal, banking and foreign exchange services.
NEW WHOLESALE SUPPLIER
You will be aware that Ellen has been working hard to identify a new wholesale supplier, one that understands our ethos and with whom the HUB can build a long-term relationship. There is positive progress on this front and we are about to enter into a trial relationship with Ellen’s favoured supplier. Assuming all goes well we will confirm who it is in next month’s newsletter. This has been a testing time for Ellen in particular as she has had to do all the fetching and carrying herself something she has done with her usual efficiency to the point where it is doubtful that any of our customers will have noticed much difference. Well done Ellen and thank you!
WE ARE NEARLY FIVE YEARS OLD!
Our 5th anniversary takes place officially on June 3rdt and preparations are in hand to mark this occasion with a number of suitable initiatives. This is advance notice that the HUB will look and feel a little different as we celebrate this important milestone. With our new supplier in place Ellen is planning to review our product range and quite possibly introduce some new lines. Watch this space!
HARD LICQUOR NOW AVAILABLE
In response to customer demand, we will now stock a supply of Whisky, Gin and Vodka and an additional range of lagers and beers.
THINKING AL FRESCO?
Don’t forget that we supply delicious burgers from Cools Farm in East Knoyle ideal for a B-B-Q. And not forgetting the range of Purbeck ice creams also available. Everyone has their favourite ice cream but our stock of vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, salted caramel and raspberry ripple, hopefully covers most tastes!
AN EXTRA ROUND TABLE
You may have noticed that we have added an extra round table as you go into the Coffee Shop on the left. We feel this adds to the community feel of the HUB and gives visitors the opportunity to sit and chat to people they have not necessarily met before. So if there are spaces available they are yours for the taking.
THE HUB IS RECOGNISED AS A “TRULY FRIENDLY” PLACE FOR PEOPLE WITH DIMENTIA
A certificate was presented to the HUB on Friday, 27 April, for the “truly friendly” way it welcomes people living with dementia.
The award, made by members of the Laverstock Memory Support Group led by Elizabeth Bartlett, includes a number people who regularly use the HUB. It is part of project sponsored by DEEP, a national organisation that helps people living with dementia to make their voices heard and to decide for themselves whether services they use are friendly towards them. Without exception members who use the HUB have commented very positively about their experience.
One member who has dementia says “I am not aware of ever being treated in any way differently to anyone else. Everyone is always pleasant and helpful.”
Family carers have been equally positive.
One said, “I can happily leave my husband there with a cup of coffee and a newspaper for an hour while I go to keep fit. I know that he will be safe, and enjoy chatting to everyone.”
It is good to know that the HUB is being used in this way as it serves as a good example of its core purpose which is to reach out to all members of our local communities.
If you would like to know more about this excellent initiative please contact Elizabeth Bartlett on 0781 238 1463 or at email@example.com
CHALKE VALLEY LADIES CYCLING FOR CANCER
On Tuesday 3rd April Hannah Bell, Pam Clover, Shosh Hibbs and Sue Wharmby cycled 100 km each on static bikes outside the Chalke Valley Stores to raise money for Women V Cancer. This is in preparation for a Women V Cancer “Ride the Night” they are doing through London on 5th May in support of Breast Cancer Care, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust. Thanks to your support they raised £1,500 on 3rd April and no doubt this figure will be increased as a result of their efforts on 5th May. It is good to see the HUB being used as a focal point for events like this.
WORK EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITY AT THE HUB
An opportunity has arisen for two young people, preferably aged between 17 and 21 and living in the Chalke Valley, to gain paid work experience working mainly in the Coffee Shop, one with effect from 11th August and the other from 1st September. There is also an advertisement appearing in this edition of the Broadsheet giving more details so if you know of anyone who you think might like to apply please draw it to their attention. They should email Ellen at: firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance asking for an application form. Please note that applications close on 16 June.
REVEREND CANON DAVID HENLEY
Many of you will remember David Henley as a past Rector of the Chalke Valley Benefice. Some may not know the significant part he played in helping the HUB come into existence. In doing so he worked closely with the United Reformed Church in recognizing that the church should work towards meeting the needs of the community as a whole, hence the idea of the HUB was born.
David no longer lives in this area but retains fond memories. It is felt that his contribution should be recognized and with that in mind he has been invited and has accepted, an invitation to come to the HUB on Sunday 6th May at 3.00pm. You are warmly invited to join David in the HUB/Chapel on this occasion. It will provide an opportunity for us to show our appreciation for all he did in helping the HUB come into existence, the knock-on effects of which have been of such huge benefit to the Chalke Valley and all its communities. This is an “open house” event so the more the merrier.
RECENT QUOTES FROM THE VISITORS BOOK
“What a little gem. Lovely friendly staff with perfect scones jam and clotted cream – thank you”
“Lovely raspberry lemonade and shortbread, so tasty I wish I could come here every day!”
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Chalke Valley Stores
URC Chapel, High Road,
Broad Chalke, Wiltshire SP5 5EH
01722 780 998
FREE parking available outside
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm
Saturday 8.30am to 4pm
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
9am to 1pm
Monday to Saturday 9am to 4.30pm
Shop, Post Office & Coffee Shop are all closed on Bank and Public Holidays
Many of the photographs used on this website have been kindly contributed by Russell Emm and Andrew Wiltshire (www.countrysidephotography.org).