The Godalming & Villages Community Store welcomed a new volunteer to its ranks when HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, visited the Wilfrid Noyce Centre on 16 June to help with the ‘Trolley Tuesday’ donations.
The Earl was welcomed to the store by Vicki Connor and Patrick Andrea from the Godalming & Farncombe Coronavirus Assistance Group and joined the volunteers to see first-hand why the Store has been, and remains so important in providing support to families and individuals. The Earl heard of the difficulties faced by many people who may had never thought they would have needed to use a food bank but had faced sudden changes to their circumstance during the pandemic.
The Community Store is about the community supporting its friends and neighbours during these unprecedented and difficult times and receives generous donations on a daily basis, but “Trolley Tuesday” is the main donation day when shopping trollies full of donations from collection points around the town and surrounding villages are delivered to the store. When the trollies started to arrive The Earl rolled up his sleeves and got to work at a sorting station to assist with checking and sorting the newly donated items. Having cleared his station, The Earl then helped Bruce Westsmith and Nuria Palacios from the Acorn Restaurant in Godalming to pack and label meals made from donated items which were then put in the store’s fridge for customers to collect. After serving up a “Socially Distanced” tea break for the volunteers, The Earl helped to restock the store with items from the storage and sorting area so it was ready for opening the following morning.
On finishing his shift, The Earl thanked the volunteers for the work they are doing and wished them every continued success with the community store.
Vicki Connor said “the volunteers, who are the lifeblood of the Community Store, were absolutely amazed and surprised when The Earl of Wessex joined them and were delighted that he got stuck in to help on Trolley Tuesday, which is the busiest day of the week for the Community Store. It was really pleasing that the hard work and dedication of all the volunteers and the Town Council was recognised in this way.”