The Hexham Courant has launched a campaign looking for businesses going above and beyond in the community, identifying their special efforts by crowning them Trader of the Week.

This week we report on a village store which is thriving after seeing its customer footfall triple during the coronavirus crisis.

Essential fruit and vegetable boxes created by Stocksfield Village Store has seen local residents flock to the store during the coronavirus pandemic.

Shop owners Michelle Naisbett and Philip Walker said the ongoing uncertainty around the virus, and the increased demand for household supplies, had seen a significant increase in customers over the last three weeks.

Michelle said: “We have seen footfall increase week on week. The last three weeks the usage has tripled – it’s phenomenal.”

Located on Alexandra Terrace, the store has developed into one of the village’s key shops.

Michelle said: “The majority of people in Stocksfield are avoiding the big supermarkets because so many people are going there and often finding that a lot of key items have sold out.

“We have a strong elderly population around Stocksfield so we are here to provide a service to them.”

The store is operating its Ring and Bring service, which sees the couple operate a home delivery service for residents throughout the local area.

Michelle explained: “We have done it since August so we were well-prepared for the demand, but more people are now taking notice of it and using it which is great.”

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in the UK and the government’s stricter rules around closing businesses were introduced, Michelle said the prices for supplies have increased.

She said: “Pretty much everything has increased in price as we would expect, but were are still managing to get a lot of products that we need.

“Since taking over we have been getting out into the community and letting people know we are here to help and serve. We want the store to be the hub of the community. We really appreciate the local support in the village, and everyone using the shop.”