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Week two of lockdown - what's occurring!

Hi all, so we're back to provide a quick update on how things are going over here at The Bell, as we reach the middle of our second week of lockdown.

Hopefully you are all coping with the new reality. Mixed emotions for us - whilst we're keeping busy with gardening projects and the grocery service, there are moments when we see the empty pub, our lovely garden with no-one in it enjoying the sunshine and the quietness of the village and feel sad for what will likely be a lost summer season. Patch is also very confused - after getting used to having lots of visitors all day long, he's now wondering what he said to stop all his new friends coming in! Although on the flip side, he is enjoying lots of puppy naps whenever he feels like it. However, we're all in this together and will come out the other side with resilience levels that are off the scale!

The grocery service has been going well after a few initial teething problems with our process were ironed out - as mentioned in previous posts, we are offering this to act as a hub to help people get hold of essential items and to avoid having to run the supermarket gauntlet, or find an elusive online delivery slot. We're working with two of our trusted suppliers - Dartfresh and Wares in Torrington to be the point of contact for people to place orders for groceries, receive deliveries then distribute them.

We've just taken our 20th order and we're now averaging 5 orders per day. The volunteers in the village have done a fab job delivering leaflets about the service and are also now on hand to help deliver orders to those self-isolating or staying at home because they're in a high-risk group.

A couple of points to note now we've got 10 days experience of running the service under our belts:

  • Once we have received your order at the pub, we'll phone for payment by card over the phone and agree a collection/delivery slot; this way we can let you know if anything was out of stock as well.

  • Delivery of items to us is very varied, as our suppliers are also finding their feet in this new world! It can be any time of day, but we'll call as soon as we have your items packed and ready for you.

  • Do just ask if there's something you need which isn't on the list on the original leaflet - we may be able to get it for you.

  • Wares has now changed their delivery day to Monkleigh to Tuesdays, so we'll aim to have items ordered to be included on this delivery. However, if you need meat more urgently, we will go and collect your order from Wares.

  • We are still able to run the service as next day delivery from Monday to Friday. Dartfresh do not delivery on Saturday or Sunday - however, we can put an order in up to 3pm on Saturdays to be picked and delivered to us on Mondays.

We're running this as a volunteer service to help whilst we all get through the Covid 19 outbreak. We are therefore charging the wholesale price, plus a small percentage on top (5%) to cover some additional costs we have incurred to run the service: including adding the function to take card payments over the phone via our machine (which incurs an additional monthly charge) and the running of one of our large commercial fridges to store orders until they are collected. It's also worth noting that we have been into Torrington to collect some items for people and the essential businesses there are still running and have all put brilliant protocols in place to keep customers safe, so if you can support them as well, please do!

If you would like to place an order (available every day apart from Sundays) please contact either The Bell Inn or Monkleigh Garage on 01805 938285 or 01805 623157.

For all other support, please call Charlotte Boundy, on the number provided on the yellow Covid 19 response card you should have received through your door, as she is co-ordinating the help via the volunteers involved.

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