AN UPPERMILL boutique is the latest to rally behind a community coming to terms with the massive impact COVID-19 is inflicting on daily life.
Sara Ogden and Millie Milton have turned their top floor fashion emporium at Queen Anne Gallery into a makeshift food bank, specifically collecting breakfast cereals and carton milk.
Thanks to the efforts of the Saddleworth Boutique pair, struggling individuals and families in self-isolation or lockdown can start their days with some sustenance.
“We just thought there must be a way to make a difference,” explained Sara.
“So, we decided to turn ourselves into the cereal boutique instead of Saddleworth Boutique.
“Breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day so we are helping to give kids the right start to the day.
“We are just doing our little bit to help the community. It might only seem a token thing but if everyone does a little bit or it inspires others to do something then we it is all positive.
“A lady we know works for social services and works closely with families and children. So, we are not taking it to the foodbanks, it is going right to their doors. We are going to keep it as local as we can.”
“If one shop in every village did this then you could help feed lots of people,” added Millie.
Sara and Millie initially started a raffle and tombola, approaching other businesses in the village for £1 or £2.
“The Co-op donated a few boxes and within a couple of hours we had raised enough for around 140 boxes of cereal,” added Sara.
The duo and their friends have also been careful not to exceed their maximum purchase limit to avoid emptying shelves.
“It is ongoing because we have had loads of people ringing to say they will donate £1 or give us a box of cereal,” added Sara.
“If you don’t want to come into the shop, leave the donations at at the bottom of the stairs and ring us.”
Millie added: “We are also collecting board games and DVDs for all those people in lockdown. Until we get told we have to shut then we will continue to do this.
“It is a wealthy area so most people can afford one extra box of cereal. There is a bigger picture out there rather than people stockpiling for themselves.”
“We have not been bothered about selling clothes, we have been more interested in trying to get boxes of cereal off people.”