A VILLAGE near Wallingford has celebrated the 10th anniversary of its award-winning community shop.

On Saturday – a decade on from residents helping fundraise £20,000 for community-run Ewelme Village Store to open – villagers marked the occasion with a bunting-lined party.

As many as 100 people – including the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Lady Silvia Jay – attended for 'speeches, Prosecco and nibbles'.

ALSO READ: Wallingford Community Fridge opens its doors

She congratulated the store on its decade in business and the community for its contribution to making it a thriving part of Ewelme.

Ten years on from its humble beginnings, the store now has more than 300 shareholders, six daily managers, 25 volunteers and an annual turnover of about £150,000.

Herald Series:

Above: Villagers 10 years ago

Speaking after the event, Chairman Sarah Maine said: "It's a big celebration. We have been going 10 years and it was a milestone.

"I think most people were appreciative of the shop - most people can't imagine life without if now. It's a focal point for the village and brings people together."

The shop has won a number of awards over the years, including Best Community Store in the South East 2017, and is run by a management committee which has evolved to include a number of different local people.

Herald Series:

Mrs Maine, who was singled out for praise as the High Sheriff thanked volunteers and staff members, continued: "It has done everything that people think community shops should have done.

"We had quite a lot of people who used to work for us come - it had a nice feeling about it."

READ AGAIN: Help is on its way: Wallingford project hailed for poverty fight

On Saturday, the street in front of the shop was closed as villagers raised a glass to its continuing success.

Cara Chapman, Vice Chairman of the management committee, added: "It was really lovely. We had a lot of emails and messages congratulating us in the run up.

Herald Series:

"Getting to 10 years is a real milestone that we are all very proud of. It was (also) a great opportunity to look back on what we have achieved."

Miss Chapman listed three main achievements that the community was most proud of: "Getting the shop open; sustaining it and keeping a healthy business. But also probably the most important point was to make it a central hub for the village."

She continued: "The shop means different things for different people - from those who need a pint of milk or a newspaper to those who need jobs.

"We employ local teenagers and and a huge range of volunteers; the social interaction they get from being part of the community shop is great. We have made ourselves the go-to place in Ewelme."