Rother Valley MP reflects on the importance of the convenience store within our local communities throughout the pandemic and beyond in his latest Worksop Guardian article.
I have witnessed firsthand how convenience stores have anchored small towns and villages across our United Kingdom during the toughest times we have faced since the Second World War. They have served as an oasis of dependability and normality throughout a deeply worrying year, staying open at considerable personal risk. I wish to give a special mention to the Londis and Post Office in North Anston in Rother Valley, operated by my constituent Andy. He adapted and thrived, providing locals with essential goods when large supermarkets were experiencing shortages and implementing an innovative traffic light entry system to keep his customers safe.
Convenience stores are deeply rooted in our communities in a way that a supermarket simply is not – they are often family owned or operated and provide a range of services, including groceries, newspapers, post office functionality, ATMs, and benefit or pension provision. This is an invaluable lifeline for the vulnerable, the old, and those who cannot access transport. Our convenience store operators know local people well and become central to village or town life. Without them, many of us would not have made it through the coronavirus pandemic. Convenience stores are the unsung heroes of lockdown, and as an avid supporter of these mighty institutions I thank Andy and his colleagues across Britain for their service to our nation.