Morrisons Littlehampton: New additions to the store welcomed, including garden centre and Little Library

Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb has visited the new Children’s Little Library at Morrisons to find out more about the free book exchange scheme.

He was invited by the Littlehampton store’s community champion, Alison Whitburn, who showed him how the system works, including the sealed box for donations and open shelves where children can take a book for free.

Mr Gibb said: “There is nothing more important for a child’s education than reading. Children who read regularly for pleasure do far better at school than those children who don’t.

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“Morrisons’ Little Library initiative is a wonderful way for children to pick up a book while out shopping with their parents. And if you’re late returning the book, there’s no fine.”

Alison Whitburn, community champion at Morrisons Littlehampton, shows Littlehampton MP Nick Gibb the store's new Children's Little Library

Alison said about 50 books were borrowed by children each week.

Another addition to the store is the new garden centre, which Alison said customers had really appreciated.

As well as her work in the store, she has been out and about in the past few weeks delivering free cream teas to care homes in Littlehampton and Rustington, linked to the NHS Big Tea.

Alison said: “I had hoped to organise a party for care home residents in the café but due to the extension of restrictions, we weren’t able to.

Rob Mandry, operations manager, and colleague Rachael Howard ready to welcome people to the new garden centre at Morrisons Littlehampton

“So, we handed out cream teas to customers and I donated 30 cream teas to Oakland Grange care home staff and more afternoon teas to Darlington Court.

“As a store, we raised a brilliant £400 for NHS Charities Together, and still counting.”

Kim Maw, manager at Oakland Grange, said her staff had worked so hard during the pandemic and it was good to treat them.

At Darlington Court, customer relations manager Caroline Thomas showed Alison around. The pair will be working together more closely in the future, including Dementia Friends sessions for Morrisons colleagues.

Tucking into cream tea at Darlington Court in Rustington
Alison Whitburn delivers a big cream tea box to Oakland Grange care home in Littlehampton
Staff at to Oakland Grange care home in Littlehampton were thrilled to receive a bumper cream tea to share