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Crowdfunder raises more than £7,000 for Budgens of Holt staff after fire destroyed store

PUBLISHED: 18:59 28 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:24 28 August 2020

Jess Read from Budgens of Holt (left) and Louise Cowell from the CT Baker Group (right) receive a cheque for more than £7,000 from Jono Read after an online crowdfunder (centre). Photograph: Supplied.

Jess Read from Budgens of Holt (left) and Louise Cowell from the CT Baker Group (right) receive a cheque for more than £7,000 from Jono Read after an online crowdfunder (centre). Photograph: Supplied.

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Budgens of Holt staff have thanked the community for their support following an online crowdfunder, created after a fire devastated the supermarket.

Budgens of Holt employees Rachel Clarke and Sophie Cousins pose with a cheque for more than £7,000 raised from an online crowdfunder. Photograph: Supplied.Budgens of Holt employees Rachel Clarke and Sophie Cousins pose with a cheque for more than £7,000 raised from an online crowdfunder. Photograph: Supplied.

The fundraiser was launched hours after the events of June 20 to show appreciation to staff for serving the town during the lockdown - and over many years.

The post office was moved to nearby Bakers and Larners, and home deliveries started again from its Aylsham store, but the fire left many locals without work and a supermarket.

Jono Read, who launched the fundraiser, said the £7,222 raised from donations had been shared evenly amongst staff.

Budgens of Holt employees pose with a cheque for more than £7,000 raised from an online crowdfunder. Photograph: Supplied.Budgens of Holt employees pose with a cheque for more than £7,000 raised from an online crowdfunder. Photograph: Supplied.

“Budgens was a lifeline for many people in the town over the last 35 years, and in particular during the pandemic, and Holt is still feeling the consequences of losing it.

“The crowdfunder was an attempt to turn the sadness and shock on the night of the fire into something positive, and I’m delighted by the response, and how many came forward to offer support.

The damage after the devastating fire at Budgens of Holt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe damage after the devastating fire at Budgens of Holt. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

“My first job when I was a student was with Budgens and I still have friends and family working there, so I’m pleased we’ve been able to give something back at such a difficult time.”

Jane Gurney-Read, Managing Director for CT Baker Group which owns the food store, also offered her thanks.

She said: “The support from the local community since we lost Budgens of Holt in June has been quite simply incredible.

“I would like to thank Jono Read for setting up the crowdfunding for the Budgens of Holt team and every single person and business who donated to it.

“Your kindness, generosity and recognition of the team, who had given so much throughout the coronavirus pandemic and for the many years the store has been an integral part of Holt, has been hugely appreciated and will not be forgotten.”

Caroline Gray, who received a cheque as part of the crowdfunder, said: “I was quite overwhelmed and it was such a lovely gesture from people of our community and much appreciated.”

Sylvia Hill added: “Thank you to everyone who donated to the fund for us, it was such a generous thing to do.”

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