VOLUNTEERS are desperately needed to help keep the much valued Ilsington Village Shop open.

MP Mel Stride visited Ilsington Village Hall and Shop on Sunday to lend his support to members of the community who are working to keep them open. Parish clerk Carol Retallick briefed Mr Stride on the challenges facing the village, with a number of members of the village hall committee set to stand down after many years of service.

Despite having a paid shop manager, the village shop and hall can only function with the support of volunteers and Mrs Retallick told Mr Stride that there are very real fears the village will lose both the hall and the shop if no-one comes forward.

Back in 2010 Mr Stride supported local funding bids for the extension to the village hall to house the shop and it has since proved popular with local residents, particularly those without transport.

Mrs Retallick said: ‘Ilsington Village Hall and Shop are well supported by the community, but the shop can only stay open if the hall has a functioning committee.

‘We really value having great facilities such as the local shop on our doorstep. ‘We have had many wonderful volunteers, but some have been helping for a decade or more and for various reasons are stepping back.

‘We need others to step forward to help or there is a real risk of closure.’

Central Devon MP Mr Stride added: ‘I am really concerned at the prospect of Ilsington Hall and Village Shop closing.

‘The shop is a real hub of the village, and it is much better for the environment if people can walk to the shop for some shopping or to use the post office rather than jumping in their car to go further afield.

‘If anyone thinks they might be able to volunteer some time in particular to join the hall committee, please get in touch for more information.’

The opening hours for Ilsington Village Shop are 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 9am to 12pm on Sundays. Post Office services are available 9am to 1pm on Mondays and 9am to 11.30am on Fridays.

To contact the shop please ring 01364 661788 or email [email protected]