IT is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in one South Somerset village after volunteers helped give the community shop a festive face lift.

Earlier this year, the Thorncombe shop volunteers were praised for helping the village through the first lockdown, and now they have stepped up again.

Anne Johnson-Rooks, chairman of the Thorncombe Village Shop Management Committee, said: "Our valued volunteers have been working hard to bring festive cheer to our beautiful village.

"Our shop front had begun to look a little worse for wear and has been transformed with new weather-resistant columns, enhanced shop signage, exterior blackboards and renovated non-slip decking.

"Inside the shop, in addition to our customers’ daily needs, are Christmas goodies galore and a mini boutique offering a range of keenly-priced Christmas gifts.

"And the majority of this has been achieved by volunteers working together with our hard-working supervisor, Wilma Hawker, and with grant support from benefactors."

Earlier this year Thorncombe was one of the first communities to form a Covid-19 support team, helping elderly and vulnerable residents to stay safe and well stocked during the pandemic.

A number of the community shop's regular volunteers were among those forced to self-isolate, but a new group of younger helpers stepped up.

Anne added: "Now that lockdown has been eased, we are able to resume serving our Tuesday lunches, our weekly Saturday bacon baps and our monthly Sunday breakfasts, all adhering, of course, to Government rulings.

"Community shops are essential in rural areas and with the threat of Covid-19 meaning that many of our valued customers are reluctant to leave home to drive to town, we have been happy to deliver orders placed by phone. We are very proud."

Thorncombe Community Shop was launched in 2009 after three years of fundraising from village residents, and is relies on local volunteers to keep its doors open.

For more information about the shop and how it was set up, visit