Humshaugh Community Village Shop is truly special and a success story on so many levels: its proof that when a determined and enlightened group of local people decide to take control of their village's destiny anything can happen.
This week I was delighted to welcome 3 of their representatives - Steve Robins, Sally Douglas and Ray Blanckley - to London for the Countryside Alliance / Daily Telegraph Awards: they left behind dozens of the other volunteers. Steve was snaffled by Gerry Foley for ITV Tyne Tees News, as part of the media blitz and many photographs / reports will follow.
I have unashamedly taken part of Sallys report of the day, which described the ceremony:
"The presenter for the Awards was Kate Hoey MP and our category was the first to be announced so we quickly found ourselves in the spotlight being presented by Richard Benyon MP (DEFRA) - much applause and many congratulations from all round. Much praise also for the fact that the shop is run by the community, for the community and that any profit is ploughed back into the village."
There was great admiration for the famous Humshaugh Village Shop bag - which is now known worldwide - see:
My hope is that we can take all the lessons learnt from this amazing shop to other community organisations in Northumberland and around the country. My view is that there is much more that we will be hearing of from Humshaugh in terms of what they can teach others to help their own local communities.