Community-run village shop wins top tech award

By Jake Chown  
Monday 6th December 2021 7:00 am
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STAFF at a community-led village shop in the Forest said they were "delighted" to have been announced as the winners of a prestigious national award for rural businesses last week.

Online ’click and collect’ service The May Hill Hub won the Rural Vision Technology Award in the Plunkett Foundation’s Rural Community Business Awards for 2021 at a national ceremony in London last Thursday (November 25).

Representatives from the Hub attended the ceremony at St Martin in the Fields where they were presented with the award by ’The Great British Bake Off’ judge Prue Leith.

The Hub was established in early 2020 to provide fresh produce for local residents during the pandemic.

A group of May Hill residents promptly banded together to create a delivery round of locally-sourced groceries, and as orders "flooded in", they decided to keep the Hub going on a permanent basis.

The service offers a range of local foods, drinks and arts & crafts which people can order online and collect from May Hill Village Hall on Friday afternoons.

Bake Off judge and TV chef Prue Leith told Hub member Jane Foot as she accepted the award: "It’s wonderful what you do - keep at it!"

Founder member Caroline Pascoe said after the ceremony: "It was amazing to hear about all of the incredible community businesses in villages right across the country and for the success of the Hub to be validated by this award".

National charity the Plunkett Foundation supports hundreds of community-owned businesses across the UK and highlights those which have gone "above and beyond for their communities" through the annual awards.

The team at The May Hill Hub, which is run as a not-for-profit charity, say their aim is to support local businesses and residents "in a sustainable, ethical and responsible way."

The judges said they were particularly impressed by the Hub’s "stylish" website and payment system and how they have used technology to create a village shop, even when they have no premises of their own.

A spokesperson for the Hub said: "The May Hill Hub would like to thank the local businesses they support at the Hub for trading with them, their loyal customers and especially their volunteers who are the heart of the operation.

"Extra special thanks goes to Chris Kenwright whose selfless expertise in creating the website has undoubtedly been a key factor in the success of the Hub."

More information about the Hub is available at www.mayhillhub.com.

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