A few months ago Barkers of Huby was visited by assessors for the Queens Awards for Voluntary Service and they were taken aback by the shop, the range of produce and the amazing volunteers who keep the shop open 7 days a week. The shop has over 50 volunteers and all of them have interesting back stories why they got involved: to put something back, to keep connected, learn new skills and meet like-minded people and make new friends. Graham and Lynda Jones are two of our volunteers, They got to know Barkers of Huby from stopping by on their house-hunting trips and always thought it was a great feature of the village. Recent retirees, they moved to Huby in September 2019.
“We hadn’t been here long before Janet in the Post Office said we should volunteer because it was a good way of getting to know people. Someone else pointed out that the shop was a great place to pick up the village gossip – or start the gossip if we wanted to!”
“We’d enjoyed volunteering for things in the past, so decided we could do an hour or two a week. We gave ourselves a few months to settle in and signed up early in 2020. That was shortly before the first lockdown when the shop became a lifeline for the village. Suddenly we were busy with shifts in the shop plus shopping for people shielding, but that way we got to know more people more quickly than we would have done otherwise.”
“It’s been good to learn new skills like how to operate a till and it’s fun meeting the cross-section of Huby/Sutton residents and passers-by who use the shop, especially when there’s chance for a chat. And it means when we pass people in the street, we often know them from seeing them in the shop. We’ve also made some good friends among the other volunteers and enjoyed the volunteer socials.”
“The shop is a great asset to Huby and Sutton and it’s good to be playing a small part in keeping it going.”
Whilst the shop does have a great bank of volunteers, we are keen to encourage more local people to get involved. It can be for a couple of hours a week but is flexible so there’s no sense of obligation to always do a certain time, etc. And as well as serving in the shop, there are other roles where more hands are always welcome, like picking up stock, bits and pieces of light DIY and maintenance. All volunteers are made very welcome, with training, lots of support and a buddy at the beginning. We also do regular volunteer socials, and of course you hear the odd bit of news first over the shop counter!
To find out more visit the shop or contact Terry Wolf on firstname.lastname@example.org