A GOODWORTH Clatford-based shop has been honoured in the ‘Rural Oscars’.

The Clatfords Village Store and Post Office was one of five stores in the South East to receive a highly commended in this year’s Countryside Alliance Awards.

The community-run shop was nominated by its customers for the annual awards and was later selected as a finalist for the region in the Village shop or Post Office category.

The much-loved store, which is dependent on the support of its team of volunteers, narrowly missed out on scooping the regional prize – awarded to Ripe Village Stores, in East Sussex.

Despite this, Cecilia Haszlakiewicz, a board member of the Clatfords Village Store Association, was still delighted with the result.

She said: “We are very grateful to our customers for nominating us for this awards.

“We are very proud our of our village shop and love being part of the heart of the community.

“This award is testament to the work of our 75 volunteers.

“Without them we wouldn’t be able to serve our community.”

The CVSA was founded and took over the shop in 2004 when the store’s former owner announced their intention to retire.

The store continued trading as a community shop, but ran into financial trouble in 2010.

Volunteers rallied around the store and, just eighteen months later, they managed to turn its fortunes around.

The CVSA later took over the sub-Post Office in 2014 and the business has continued to thrive ever since.

The shop now stocks over 2,000 different items, including a large variety of local products.

Praising the store, a spokesperson for the Countryside Alliance Awards, said: “Clatfords Village Store is a fantastic example of what a community can achieve when faced with the threat of losing a vital community resource.

"As soon as you enter this hub of the community you are met with friendly volunteers who are willing to go the extra mile to please their customers.

“From locally-sourced food to informal advice on all areas of village life this village shop provides excellent service and ensures no one needs to shop anywhere else.”