Tuesday, 02 June 2020
THE family in charge of the village store in Wargrave have written a letter of appreciation to the community who gave them £2,275 as a thank-you.
The shop in Victoria Road has been run by Thangarajah Sreemurthy, known as Murthy, and his wife Praba for more than 20 years.
Residents organised an online fundraising campaign to show their gratitude to the family, who have kept the shop stocked during the coronavirus lockdown.
Mr Sreemurthy said: “Praba and I, from the bottom of our hearts, would like to say a huge thank-you for your kind and generous support during these difficult unprecedented times.
“This pandemic has meant that life has moved on to a difficult path for all of us. Our lives have changed greatly and we all have had to make great sacrifices to save people around us.
“We as a family have had to make great sacrifice, sacrifices that have affected our treasured green shop. From reduced stock, to sadly limiting the items we sell and, importantly, missing those meaningful interactions we have with our customers.
“These strange times have produced times of loneliness, fear and worries among people, feelings that mean that our mental and physical health are greatly affected.
“However, Praba and I are confident that as a community we will all get through this together. We know that the Wargrave spirit is one filled with resilience and resolve. Drive to plough forward while this virus tries to hold us back.
“Your love and care towards us and our staff is what keeps us going, in fact. We have also noticed many positive actions within the community.
“We have noticed a great level of respect, care and love that people are showering among one another. This is something that is so pure and we hope that this continues forever.”
The fundraiser was organised by villagers Jim Sneddon and Chris Cordrey, The initial idea was to about present the family with a small gift but this evolved into online donations page when the men realised how popular the shop was.
A small ceremony was held outside the convenience store, where the family were presented with a cheque. They also received flowers and a card, which had the names of more than 120 people who donated.
Mr Sneddon said the Sreemurthys had been particularly important to Wargrave during the lockdown as many residents struggled to have food delivered by larger supermarkets.
Mr Sreemurthy said: “We will continue to serve our community. We will do our bit by making sure that we get the products you want.
“In the meantime, please stay safe, stay at home and importantly look after those around you. Look after your physical and your mental health equally. This phase in our lives will pass soon and we will all get through this together.”
This year, the Sri Lankan family will celebrate 21 years working in Wargrave.
18 May 2020
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