If you live in Hampstead Norreys you have an extra special reason to be proud of the fact – the community shop has beaten 17,000 entries to be named the best in the country.
In May we told you how the community-run store had been named as the best in the south east by the Countryside Alliance which stages the “rural Oscars”.
And now the shop and café which opened in 2011, quickly going on to become the hub of the village, has been given the ultimate honour, beating off nine regional finalists.
Avril, Lesley and Barbara went to the awards ceremony at the House of Lords to represent the shop and await their fate where they were joined by MP for Newbury Richard Benyon.
Declaring Hampstead Norreys Community Shop the winner in the Village Shop/Post Office categor , the judges said: “This vibrant and well-stocked village shop is the hub and lifeline for people in this rural area, serving the community on so many levels.
“The shop is always evolving and has recently embarked on an initiative to reduce plastic waste. From fairs to an art gallery there is always something going on in this lively shop.
“Partly run by volunteers and non-profit making, it is a perfect example of ‘where there is a will there is a way’.”
The team behind the shop have been overwhelmed by the congratulations they have received, saying: “To all who have helped make our community shop what it is, including our customers, thank you. We hope you feel proud too!”