Shop awarded after helping to ‘hold village together’

Graffham Village Shop has received a Community Champion award after helping to ‘hold the village together’ during the coronavirus pandemic.

Store owners Thievandiram and Vasukee Jeevathasan, known locally as Jeeva and Vasu, were handed the award by Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs, on Saturday morning. Photo: Colin Barker

Store owners Thievandiram and Vasukee Jeevathasan, known locally as Jeeva and Vasu, were handed the award by Andrew Griffith, MP for Arundel and South Downs, on Saturday morning.

Mr Griffith said: “I have seen so many great examples of West Sussex communities pulling together – its been the silver lining of this Covid crisis.

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“In the case of Graffham Village Stores, the owners Jeeva and Vasu really helped to hold the village together at a difficult time and I was delighted to present them a Community Champion award.”

Jeeva and Vasu were nominated by dozens of residents, for helping to bring the community together during the pandemic, including organising food deliveries to vulnerable villagers. Photo: Colin Barker

Communities had been given an opportunity to nominate individuals and organisations as ‘Covid Community Champions’.

Jeeva and Vasu were nominated by dozens of residents, more than 30 of whom turned up on Saturday morning, for helping to bring the community together during the pandemic, including organising food deliveries to vulnerable villagers.

Graffham Village Stores’ manager Lucas Thornley said: “We would like to thank the community for the nomination and their continued support during the pandemic.

“We would like to thank all our wonderful staff and volunteers who have been helping out in the shop and doing deliveries to other villages like Heyshott.

“Heath End Village Stores, which is our sister shop, haven’t been nominated.

“We would like to thank for them for working particularly hard during this time.”