Dear staff, volunteer, customers and everyone connected to Frensham Village Shop and Post Office,
First of all – huge thanks to everyone that has stepped up in so many ways to help sustain the operation of the shop. It is clear, however, from the Prime Minister’s announcement last night that we need to change how we operate if we are to continue;
• Our first priority is the safety of our staff, volunteers and customers
• After that, we want to ensure that we sustain and likely grow our home delivery service to the vulnerable who are self-isolating and most need our help
• And then we will work out how best to continue to keep the shop open to walk in shoppers.
I have had a discussion with Paul this morning, together with Martin Beer who has been doing a fantastic job already in coordinating the delivery service. We have decided that;
1. We will open the shop at 12.00 midday commencing tomorrow Wednesday 25th March. (With the exception of Sundays that will be unchanged) This is to permit us to accept deliveries, put them away and pick customer orders in a safe environment. It is consistent with prioritising deliveries to vulnerable customers when we will have the best product availability. It should also signal that it is not ‘business as usual’. For the moment we are not proposing to put in place a minimum purchase but it is a possibility. If people are to shop less frequently then you might expect a minimum purchase of £10. This morning we had a number of customers who were in this category, but we equally had a lot in the normal pick up a newspaper and a pint of milk… Currently, we still plan to be open until 7pm on Mon-Fri and 5:30pm on Saturday, so there is still plenty of time to shop.
2. We will offer a home delivery service for Newspapers in Frensham and Dockenfield; It is surprising and perhaps concerning to see people still coming in to pick up a daily newspaper including those in vulnerable groups. Claire Beer will be at the shop tomorrow morning to gather the details of anyone who would like a newspaper delivery and will handle what needs to be done on vouchers/ payment. Or you can call Claire on her mobile 07818054780 We have a couple of young volunteers who have kindly volunteered to do a newspaper delivery during this period.
3. Cancel the newspaper rota other than for Wednesdays and Sundays; Paul will handle putting out newspapers on all other days. This will help in reducing the number of volunteers in the store as much as we can.
4. Only one customer at a time in the shop. A minimum of 3 didn’t really work in protecting social distance, so we have moved this morning to one customer at a time. Everyone seems to understand and on a beautiful sunny day at least it was no hardship to be waiting outside.
Events are changing fast and we will keep all of this under review. Please forward this on to anyone that you feel it would be helpful to. I attach below the home delivery leaflet.
Finally, I would encourage anyone who is over 70 or in another vulnerable group not to volunteer and to minimise any visits to the shop. Many of you have been the backbone of the shop, but it is up to the rest of us to step up and give you the best chance of protecting your own health and the impact on the NHS.
Stay safe and best wishes