A local hero here in Sandford

   During the pandemic many of us very much benefitted from the effort made by the staff at Sandford Stores, owned and run by Robin and Ruby. They all did everything possible to make sure that goods were always available and that the more vulnerable could also have deliveries and other help.

   This was very much aided by a team of volunteers.

   Perhaps the mastermind that implemented this initiative was Aaron Bleach, manager of the store. Aaron with co workers and volunteers set up and ran a Help Line for local residents which included delivering shopping, collecting special medications and most vitally a friendly chat on a daily basis. The help line was supported by Thatchers who created a dedicated line to provide and receive regular phone calls to people unable to visit the shop or needed other practical help. They didn’t only support this village but also surrounding villages stretching as far as Locking.

    Staff regularly worked 12 hour shifts and Aaron had hardly a day off for the duration of the lock down.

   Aaron’s work was recognised nationally for he was a finalist in the BOOST DRINKS Local Hero Award in recognition of his and he would say co workers and volunteers contribution to the local community. He received an invitation to a Platinum Party held in Euston, London to thank him personally for all the support throughout this pandemic. He is very modest about this achievement but I am sure that readers of The Signpost  and village web site would like to know! Aaron continues to help local  villagers with personal issues and help all comers when needed.

   Besides the services the shop became a hub for the village with many discussions being held outside in the fresh air. It was the quiet support and consideration that was a key factor in surviving the isolation especially for those who live alone which was and continues to be a very real part of the lock down and continuing pandemic. Such support from the shop still goes on for those in need and sincere thanks must go to the shop and the village community it has helped to foster.

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