AN innovative grocery hub which was a “lifeline” for a village community during the pandemic celebrated a major milestone last week in the form of its 5,000th customer.

The May Hill Hub, which was setup at the village hall during the pandemic to provide fresh local produce deliveries to the community, continues to thrive post-Covid with a loyal customer base and an ever-expanding range of locally-sourced goods.

The ‘click and collect’ service welcomes locals to shop on their website during the week and collect their orders from May Hill Village Hall on Friday afternoons.

The award-winning, not-for-profit organisation now also hosts a range of vibrant workshops and events in the hall alongside the shop, such as its crafty ‘knit and natter’ cafe.

But last Friday afternoon (December 9) was extra special, with the volunteers celebrating their 5,000th order since the hub’s inception in 2020.

The order was placed by local resident Nick Taylor and his wife Sally, who were presented with a celebratory bottle of local fizz from Newent’s Three Choirs Vineyard by hub volunteer Anne Dodson.

Nick was full of praise for the hub, of which he and Sally are loyal customers.

“The products that they’ve got here are absolutely fantastic”, Nick commented. “The website is superb - it’s so easy to use. I think we’ve missed one Friday in three years.”

The hub sources a range of local produce from all over the district, such as milk from Chase Farm, cheese from Smarts in Churcham, and wine from Newent’s Three Choirs.

Sally said: “For the community it’s been a lifeline, in so many ways.”

”I don’t need to go out to a supermarket, because I can get everything here. And I prefer to do that because I know where it’s come from,” she added.

Jane Hanson, a presenter on Dean Radio and social media manager for the hub, commented: “A range of different people come here, families, pensioners - if they’re on May Hill they know about it.

“Supporting local is what they want to do, we were all big about that during the pandemic but some of that’s drifted off a little bit, but not here”.

Hub volunteer Marcia, who oversees the running of the shop on Fridays, says: “For us it’s about supporting the community and purchasing from the community, because we’ve enjoyed that connection.

“It’s one good thing that has come out of the pandemic, that this has come together.”

The hub’s success has been recognised both regionally and nationally, having won a prestigious award for rural businesses and secured funding to expand from Gloucestershire County Council.

The award, presented by TV chef Prue Leith to hub representatives in London, came in 2021 at the Plunkett Rural Community Business Awards, in the Rural Vision Technology category for its “stylish” website and easy to use ordering service.

The charitable organisation also secured funding for a shop redesign earlier this year from Gloucestershire County Council’s Build Back Better Fund.

The grant was used to pay for new, permanent fridges and a new cupboard, and extra funding from the village Christmas markets helped improve lighting upgrade payment technology in the shop.

Since the pandemic, the hub has expanded to offer a Friday ‘Buy-on-the day’ shop, the ‘knit & natter’ community cafe, a series of arts & crafts workshops and a regular ‘pop up’ pub.

It’s creative workshops are run by local artists and include everything from printmaking, mosaic art and creative stitching to enamelling and encaustic iron art.

For more information about events, or to place an order, go to