Budgens of Holt staff have thanked the community for their support following an online fundraiser, which was designed to support employees after a fire devastated the town’s only supermarket.
A large cheque for £7,222 was presented to staff after the crowdfunder closed following an outpouring of support.
The fundraiser was designed to show appreciation to staff for serving the town during the pandemic – and over many years before that – following the fire on June 20.
The post office was moved to the nearby Bakers and Larners shop, and home deliveries started again from its Aylsham store, but the fire left many locals without work or a supermarket.
After discussions with staff it was decided the proceeds would be shared evenly among the 70 employees as they awaited details on the store’s future.
Jono Read, who created the online fundraiser, said: “Budgens of Holt was a lifeline for many people in the town over the last 35 years, and in particular during the pandemic, and Holt is still feeling the consequences of losing it.
“The crowdfunder was an attempt to turn the sadness and shock on the night of the fire into something positive, and I’m delighted by the response, and how many came forward to offer support.
“My first job when I was a student was with Budgens and I still have friends and family working there, so I’m pleased we’ve been able to give something back at such a difficult time.”
Jane Gurney-Read, managing director for CT Baker Group, which owns the store, also offered her thanks.
She said: “The support from the local community since we lost Budgens of Holt in June has been quite simply incredible.
“I would like to thank Jono for setting up the crowdfunding for the Budgens of Holt team and every single person and business who donated to it.
“Your kindness, generosity and recognition of the team, who had given so much throughout the coronavirus pandemic and for the many years the store has been an integral part of Holt, has been hugely appreciated and will not be forgotten.”
Caroline Gray, who received a cheque as part of the crowdfunder, said: “I was quite overwhelmed and it was such a lovely gesture.”
Sylvia Hill added: “Thank you to everyone who donated to the fund for us, it was such a generous thing to do.”