Following a meeting this week between a professional web advisor, our IT volunteers – Vicky Ritchens and Becky Smith, our website has been re-activated and we can now give regular news updates. This is the first of many, hello!
We are delighted to report that Lynn Stephens has joined our Management Committee as Company Secretary, following Elly’s stepping down at our Annual Member’s meeting. A massive thank you to Elly for all the hours she put in to bring about the founding of our shop. She is still heavily involved behind the till!
Lynn comes with a wealth of experience in a senior post working for Somerset County Council, with responsibility of care for the elderly. The Management Committee co-opted her, in the short term, to fulfil the governance requirements of Companies House and the FCA. We look forward to members endorsing this appointment at our next Annual Members Meeting in July 2020.
Kevin’s WiFi Connection
Every time Kevin is on the phone in the shop he is unable to hear the conversation because of all the background noise – usually raucous laughter! It has been essential for some time to find Kevin a hide-away that can be WiFi connected so he can talk on the phone, whilst being connected to the till-system. Our Methodist friends have offered use of a part of their school room for use by Kevin, but up until now we have not been able to establish a WiFi connection.
On Monday 21st October, weather permitting, the three musketeers, Roy Clayton, Piers Howell & me, under the close scrutiny of Project Manager Julian Varker, will be climbing ladders and drilling holes to put in place a WiFi cable between the shop and the Methodist Chapel. We are very grateful to Julian for designing and ordering the kit for the job. Once completed, you should hopefully be able to laugh as loud as you like without “a look” from Kevin!
Without our gallant team of worthy volunteers our shop would grind to a halt, and so we place great value on everyone who serves behind the counter. We hold regular volunteer nights, the last of which was a skittle night in the Half Moon. This gave volunteers the chance to see how many from the village are actually involved in the shop, apart from the one or two they see on their own shift.
We are currently planning our next volunteer evening, which will be a Christmas quiz night. Date and time to be confirmed with the Half Moon and prizes to be donated by an anonymous donor – watch this space for details.
A recent visitor to the village, who is notoriously hard to please according to his friend, visited the shop and remarked how impressed he was by the friendliness of all the staff and what the shop had to offer. He wished they had a shop like it in London. Well done Cheriton volunteers, what brilliant feedback.
If you would be interested in joining this worthy army of volunteers, then please register your details in the shop.
Prince’s Countryside Fund
We are so grateful for the £3,000 we receive from the Prince’s Countryside Fund every 6 months to help towards Kevin’s salary. However, this runs out next year and for those of you who are shareholders and were at the last Annual Members’ Meeting in July, you will have heard that we aim to reduce our dependency on this fund by next year anyway. Over our last 6 months we only needed £1,800 of the £3,000 grant to balance the books, so we are getting there.
One of the requirements of the PCF is that we hold a customer satisfaction survey, so you will shortly find forms in the shop to give your views. There will only be about five questions, but your replies will help us towards receiving our next £3,000 grant. Thank you!
Wendy, our treasurer, has recently invested in a new accounting package. This was necessary following HMRC’s requirements for submitting the quarterly VAT returns under their initiative Making Tax Digital. However, it is also making it easier for Wendy to produce regular reports. We are exploring ways of publicising some of this information on our website to keep you updated on how the shop is performing. Watch this space!
Don’t miss our posts on Facebook and Instagram which are keeping our followers up to date with the day to day activities in the shop. Plus if there’s anybody out there who would like to take on the responsibility of posting on the website, to relieve Vicky, then we would be happy to hear from you.