At the Hub, the evening, 1st May 2014
So, just in case you weren’t there, or didn’t hear the spontaneous cheer that went up from the 60 or so shop supporters (plus our local MP John Glen and reporters from Salisbury Journal) gathered in the Hub last night, this is to confirm that, having already won the regional finals of the Countryside Alliance ‘Rural Oscars’, Chalke Valley Community Hub has now been voted:
BEST VILLAGE SHOP & POST OFFICE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM in the national awards !!
The actual award was handed over to a small team from the shop at a lovely ceremony in the House of Lords 24 hours earlier.
A true community effort
From start to finish this has been a true community effort involving – in equal measure – the original planning team, our professional advisors, management committee, a host of odd-jobmen and all those serving in the shop and coffee shop – every single one of them volunteers giving up their precious time and services for the benefit of the community. And of course our fantastic shop manager Ellen Smets and her assistants Judith and Sarah – all of whom have put in far more hours than we officially pay them for. On behalf of the whole of the Chalke Valley community who benefit from your efforts – both in shopping and in social terms – a huge THANKYOU and WELL DONE.
What happens next? Well,- watch out for another article on us in this weekend’s Daily Telegraph – probably Saturday. Salisbury Journal will be running an article next week (or I’ll want to know why not!), Valley News have one in the pipeline and Wiltshire Life will be visiting with a reporter (Claire) and photographer on Thursday (11 am) – as will Stephen Harris from Wiltshire Council who want to use us as an exemplar for other local community initiatives.
(editor: there is also full text of the announcement from the Countryside Alliance )
Saving and expanding our village shop and post office, creating a community centre, and sorting out traffic arrangement on High Road were all priorities that came out of the Neighbourhood Planning and associated Village Questionnaire exercise we went through with great community support last year. Having now sorted the immediate priorities we are hoping that the Parish Council will actively support the completion of a Neighbourhood Plan addressing the remaining issues raised by the community. Watch this space!
Chairman, Chalke Valley Community Hub