ALL businesses have had to adapt to the coronavirus pandemic in one way or another - even ones that have been trading for close to 150 years.

Among them is the Allendale Co-op, which has seen a significant increase in business since the start of the crisis.

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

This week, the bearer of the crown is the Allendale Co-op, after it was nominated by local residents.

The store, which has traded from the village's market place since 1874, saw a five-fold increase in deliveries after vulnerable people were encouraged to shield by staying at home.

Manager Neville Pringle said that, coupled with the need for social distancing measures, made it tough going initially.

He said: "With our shop, the hardest thing was getting the barriers up and getting people to keep their distance.

"It came in overnight - at that point the government was changing things every 24 hours.

"We had a delivery system anyway, but we had a five-fold increase to get all the deliveries out to people who have been self isolating.

"We had to change our opening times to pick the orders when the shop was shut. Staff have been working from early in the morning until 11.30pm sometimes.

"Customers have been very understanding. It's been a learning curve, but as it's went on we've got better systems in place."

Their work has not gone unnoticed - customers have been sending in emails and letters of support and thanks, while residents from as far as Hexham and Haltwhistle have become regular customers.

Neville said the support had been a boost to everybody working at the store - and also heaped praise on his staff.

He continued: "It's been very time consuming, but at the end of the day it's not about making money, it's about keeping everybody safe in the valley.

"We've had to take on some extra staff on.

"We've been inundated with thank you messages from customers - it makes it all worthwhile.

"The staff have been fantastic, I can't praise them enough. They've been fantastic and brilliant.

"Everybody has done their bit and it's nice to get the thank you messages, I think it helps."

The shop has also seen increased footfall with people less willing to travel to Hexham and other towns to shop for essentials.

Staff at the Co-op hope their new customers will continue to visit after the pandemic.

Neville added: "I think more people have been using us. People say they won't forget us when it's all over, but it doesn't matter.

"We just wanted to keep people safe and make sure people get some provisions. We wouldn't say no to anybody."

Nominate your Trader of the Week here.