MP presents first Community Champions award

Arundel & South Downs MP Andrew Griffith hand delivered his first Community Champions Award certificate to the team at Amberley Village Stores on Friday (26th June).   Andrew met store owner Colin Woods, Lee Stace, store manager, and Tina Bishop, Postmistress, to thank them for their tremendous effort in keeping Amberley residents stocked with food supplies through their delivery service.   Amberley Village Stores were quick to respond to the lockdown measures in March and adapted their business within 48-hours to provide an online service for those living in Amberley, Houghton, Greatham and Wigginholt.  A team of dedicated volunteers have helped to make the deliveries.  Orders made by midday have been delivered the next day rivalling many major supermarket services.   Colin Woods, store owner for 19 years, told Andrew: “Many residents in the Amberley Wildbrooks area are over 70 years old and therefore isolating themselves.  It was essential to be able to provide doorstep deliveries to them.   “We also kept the Post Office open with an appointment only system.  We are now in the process of adapting the shop layout so that we can welcome customers back into the stores safely.”   Andrew has seen a great response to his request for Community Champions nominations.  Amberley Village Stores received the most letters of support.  The residents’ comments confirmed why Amberley Village Stores was so deserving;   “Absolutely remarkable dedication, generosity, organisation and sheer hard work.”   “They have worked tirelessly to keep us all going with home deliveries on demand. A fantastic service in difficult conditions.”   “This has been a vital lifeline for all of us, but particularly for those who were isolating or shielding.”   Andrew Griffith said: “I was delighted to hand the certificate to Colin and personally thank him and his team for going above and beyond for their community during the Coronavirus crisis.   “They responded swiftly to the lockdown measures to ensure that no-one in the community went without essential supplies.   Amberley is a fine example of what can be achieved when everyone pulls together and why village stores are vital for rural communities.  They are most deserving winners and I know that I speak for all the residents in the Amberley area when I say thank you.”   More Community Champions will be recognised in the coming weeks and posted on Andrew’s website www.andrewgriffithmp.com.   To nominate YOUR Community Champion in the Arundel & South Downs area, please write to Andrew Griffith at The House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA or email andrew.griffith.mp@parliament.uk.