HE Payne and Sons, on High Street, has been repairing and selling shoes since 1923.
Over the past 97 years the the shop has become well-known within the community and is still run by the fourth generation of the Payne family today.
Now, co-owner of the shop, Natalie Parkes, has created a delivery service which could help people in social isolation and has helped organise Dodworth’s ‘Help A Neighbour’ scheme alongside 35 volunteers.
“People were posting on Facebook about how the elderly and vulnerable people in the village were scared to go out, and I knew I had to help in some way,” said Natalie, 31.
“I wanted the shop to be a mid-point between volunteers and the vulnerable people as we are well-known within the community. I didn’t want people who are in self-isolation or who may be vulnerable to be stranded and unable to get the supplies they need.”
Natalie and multiple volunteers from around Dodworth have created the delivery service which allows those in isolation to have their shopping and other errands delivered to their door, and more than 30 at-home residents have been helped already.
“A lot of our customers are elderly and I often see them on their own and think if they’re by themselves,” Natalie, whose shop is closed, added. “It can be scary to have nobody to run small errands for you in a time like this.
“It’s been great to see the village come together to help people - we’ve had a local company and the library help us by printing leaflets which we have been distributing and all the volunteers are local which helps.
“There’s already been a lot of scams targeting old people within the outbreak and I wanted them to feel safe and to know that this service we are providing can be trusted.
“I think it’s important to help the community. If the shop doesn’t survive after the virus, at least I will know I did something to help the community.
“Since March 18 we have assisted more than 30 people with either shopping or prescription deliveries. Due to the demand on Cohen’s, our local pharmacy, we are working alongside them to deliver medicines.
“This most certainly is a community effort and as well as input from local volunteers, we have the Dodworth Village Community Group and the council-run ward alliance supporting us.
“Our village is a prime example of community spirit and that kindness does still exist.”
To contact the shop about the service phone 284828.