Employee from leading Cumbrian legal firm steps up to support local community initiative during time of need

Terri Hope, Marketing Manager at the award-winning Northern legal firm, Cartmell Shepherd has been giving her time to help others during the lockdown.

After spotting a social media post from a local village store offering free local grocery deliveries to the community, Terri  (pictured, far left) saw an opportunity to help.

The family-run store, Chestnut House in Pooley Bridge was a well-known speciality off licence also stocking a range of local produce and famous for their ‘wall of gin’.  When the nationwide lockdown was announced, they witnessed an overnight transformation.

Shop Manager, Darren Todd, said “All of a sudden, there were no customers. We received a couple of requests from local people asking if we could deliver produce. We spoke to our core local food suppliers to see if we could expand our orders and if they could turn the orders around within a shorter window. They all agreed and we launched our next-day home delivery grocery service on the Monday morning after lockdown”.

“Local residents heard about the service and all the products that we were stocking and it quickly became popular. A few days later and after very little sleep for myself and the team, we realised that we needed help to continue the service.”

“Luckily, our local community stepped in to help. The Crown Inn pub in the village offered myself and Andrew, the owner of Chestnut House their annexe accommodation to temporarily live in, allowing us to keep ourselves, our families and our customers safe whilst working. A local lady called in during the first week offering to help us in the shop or taking orders. This was followed by local businesses Eden Commercials, who offered a van to use for deliveries and Traybakes who lent us trays to stack the orders.  With over 50 deliveries a day to fulfill, our team of helpers grew, each taking turns on the delivery round.”

Terri explained, “I knew of the shop before the lockdown, being local to Pooley Bridge and also knowing two of the managers personally. When I saw what they were providing for the local community, I got in touch to see if they needed any help.

“Volunteering each week for Chestnut House was a no brainer really. I was dreading being cooped up in the house for weeks and this was not only a good way to get out, but a good way to help other people. Doing this, I get to interact with the guys at the shop and the customers on my delivery round. The customers are so grateful and it’s a wonderful feeling to know that you’ve helped to make someone’s day. Some of the customers don’t see other people day to day and so seeing them smile makes my day too!”

Darren of Chestnut House added, “We announced on 1 June that Chestnut House would be continuing the local home delivery service on a permanent basis with a 48hr turnaround, due to its popularity.

“We know that being able to offer this free service as well as providing a safe, sanitised local venue to do grocery shopping, was a lifeline to many vulnerable and isolating members of the community. It has also supported many local small businesses whose products we have stocked in the store. We are really grateful to Terri and all our other local volunteers that have supported us.” 

Terri continued to work from home on a full-time basis during the lockdown period for employer, Cartmell Shepherd. The award-winning local legal firm are well-known for their commitment to and involvement within local communities.

Carol Fish, Marketing Director and Head of Personal Injury at Cartmell Shepherd said, “When Terri approached us about doing some volunteer work for Chestnut House, we of course gave our full support and encouragement.

“As a regional business and significant local employer, we are proud to support many local community projects and encourage our staff to do the same. We offer not only financial support, but we also volunteer our time and our professional support and skills.

“We like to support a diverse range of causes and initiatives, from local agricultural shows and educational schemes to the running of our community choir and our work as partners and supporters of various charities such as  Hospice at Home West Cumbria, Cumbria Wheelchair Sports Club and Oaktree Animal Sanctuary . We are very proud of our team who are always eager to be actively involved, whether it be baking to fundraise through bake sales, or gardening and painting railings for the ‘Give a day in the city centre’ initiative.  

Aside from coordinating many of the community projects through Cartmell Shepherd, Terri also regularly gives her spare time to support other local services including volunteering for the CFM Cash for Kids and the Ewanrigg Local Trust.

Since lockdown, in addition to her Chestnut House deliveries, Terri has been volunteering for the NHS Check In and Chat service, which provides telephone support for those suffering from loneliness as a consequence of self-isolation.   

Terri added, “I find volunteering so rewarding. People are genuinely so thankful for having these community services and for me it’s a chance to give something back.”

To find out more about the community schemes that Cartmell Shepherd supports, visit https://www.cartmells.co.uk/about-us/cartmells-in-the-community/

To find out more about Chestnut House and its local services, visit  https://www.facebook.com/chestnuthouseonline/ or https://chestnuthouseonline.co.uk/

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