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The Doorstep Delivery Service just launched on Wincanton High Street

Thursday 3 September 2020, 22:10
By Carolyn Hopkins

The Doorstep Delivery Service, operating from Coles Yard, Wincanton

One of my earliest memories is of walking down Gillingham High Street in winter, holding tightly to my father's gloved hand as we shopped and stopped to talk to passersby. That sense of a noisy, lively street, full of people and with warmth spilling out of the shops onto the slushy snow has stayed with me, the picture perfect ideal of the small town high street.

Fast forward a few decades, and our high streets – having weathered the financial crash and shrugged off the threat of massive online retail – were bouncing back. Big chains were being replaced with independent shops and the streets were bustling again.

And then COVID-19 struck. Overnight, our high streets became ghost towns. With the supermarkets and national veg box schemes turning away new customers or anyone who wasn't 'regular' enough, many people turned to their high streets where essential shops faced an uphill battle to get their produce to shoppers. They faced spiralling costs; delivery is staggeringly expensive, whether you rely on couriers or take on the mammoth task yourself, and some simply hit the limits of what was possible for a small business, even with the incredibly generous help of volunteers. Nevertheless, the scale of what was achieved in those first few days is awe-inspiring.

But, as a shopkeeper travelling to towns all over the region with The Truckle Truck, I know that even as restrictions ease, the threat to our high streets is still very real. So I launched the Doorstep Delivery Service; a way to help our local, independent shops sell their produce online and deliver. Eventually it will roll out into other towns, but Wincanton is the first high street to join, where we're working with Coles Yard, Number 16 and The Lovington Bakery.

There's a weekly 'basics' box – full of fruit and veg, bread, eggs, milk and cheese, available in a small box to feed a couple or a larger family box (£40/£70 respectively, both including delivery) – and extra products from the shops that can be added to an order. We'll deliver on Tuesdays to BA8, 9 and 10 postcodes, so you can get everything you need delivered right to your doorstep and still support your high street.

Head on over to the website to check out the very first Doorstep Delivery Box: thedoorstepdeliveryservice.co.uk.

Long live the high street!




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