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MP Norman Lamb praises north Norfolk post office

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 February 2013

Norman Lamb MP, Paula Vennells (2nd from left) and Trunch post office owner Jenny Owen (3rd from left) hand over a cheque to David Goss from the charity About With Friends. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Norman Lamb MP, Paula Vennells (2nd from left) and Trunch post office owner Jenny Owen (3rd from left) hand over a cheque to David Goss from the charity About With Friends. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

A north Norfolk post office and village shop has been praised as “critically important” by MP Norman Lamb.

Trunch Corner Stores on North Walsham Road opened 10 years ago, in what was a closed shop, and its owners Jenny and Chris Owen opened the post office in the same building in 2003.

Mr Lamb, who represents north Norfolk, nominated the post office last September at the end of the Liberal Democrats party conference after MPs were asked to put forward branches which have provided a significant contribution to the community.

It was one of 120 nominations and one of the 15 picked by the Post Office – the only one in Norfolk and Suffolk. Mr Lamb visited the store yesterday and said: “The post office is the hub of the village and the local villages who don’t have any shops. I’m acutely aware there are post offices doing great stuff across north Norfolk. I know the staff at Trunch do great work.”

Each post office and MP could choose a local charity to donate £200 of the organisation’s money.

Cromer-based About With Friends, which teaches children and adults with learning disabilities skills including gardening and cooking, received the money from the north Norfolk business.

“I know both the Trunch Post Office and About With Friends well and they provide a brilliant service to this village,” Mr Lamb added.

Trunch Corner Stores is used by people from six surrounding villages and as well as delivering items to elderly customers, its staff also raised £2,000 over four months for a defibrillator to remain outside the business.

“It survives because it provides a local service and goes the extra mile, it is a thriving business,” Mr Lamb said.

Mrs Owen, who used to work for Woolworths, said after the couple moved to the village they carried out a survey to find out what brands and goods customers wanted from the shop. She said: “We made sure when we opened as many of the brands that people wanted were in the shop. We listened to their needs.

“Everyone says thank you for staying open. They are grateful we are here. You can give as much as you can but if you don’t get the support of the locals you cannot survive. It works both ways.”

Customer Wendy Wild, 60, from Trunch, said: “It is a really good shop because what you cannot find, the staff will get for you. It is a real hub. If it wasn’t here Trunch would be an empty village.”

Paula Vennells, chief executive of the Post Office, said the company was looking at modernising the service including extending opening hours.

“We are at the lowest number of post-office closures for 25 years in Britain,” she said.

Mrs Vennells also praised the Trunch Post Office and added it was at the centre of the community.

For more information on About With Friends ring 01263 515230, visit www.aboutwithfriends.co.uk or email info@aboutwithfriends.co.uk

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