A VITAL community facility in Almondsbury celebrated another successful year with a special get-together.

The sixth anniversary of Almondsbury Community Shop, which was named as the best village store in the Midlands in the 2012 Countryside Alliance Awards, provided an opportunity for villagers to celebrate the stores continued success.

With more than 60 volunteers helping to make sure the not-for-profit store keeps running, the birthday celebration on Saturday, March 21 was well-attended.

Ruth Robison, one of more than 70 volunteers at the shop and a member of the organising committee, said that the store had become a hub for the village.

“I think it’s been a huge benefit to the Almondsbury,” she said. “The shop provides a valuable service, we’ve had youngsters who come in and work for their work experience and it helps support the thriving community.

She added that celebrating these milestones was important in making sure the shop stays at the forefront of the community.

“It is important that we keep it in everyone’s attention and we are having more and more people use the shop all the time.

“We have had a number of people using the shop who said they didn’t know we were here and whenever there’s a newcomer to the village we give them a welcome leaflet and a £5 voucher to use in the shop.”

“We had tremendous support at the celebration from people in the village and from our local MP.”

Filton and Bradley Stoke MP Jack Lopresti helped celebrate the milestone at the event and afterwards he praised the dedication of the store’s many volunteers.

He said: “It was a real honour to be invited along to cut the cake (which was delicious!) at the Almondsbury Shop Birthday Party on Saturday.

“The Almondsbury Shop has become over several years, thanks to the hard work of Alun and all the local volunteers, an invaluable and crucial part of the Almondsbury Community.

“So many happy returns and huge congratulations to all the volunteers for what they have achieved.”

For more information about the shop visit http://www.almondsburycommunityshop.org.uk/.