Welcome to the 6th edition of the new CHEQS Magazine! Your community magazine – supported by representatives of the five village communities, Coln St Aldwyns, Hatherop, Quenington, Eastleach and Southrop.
Hello from… … Helen Shaftoe
I moved to Southrop in 2000 after living in some very different parts of the world: London, Sydney and Manchester. The Cotswolds felt very much a return to my roots as a country girl, having grown up in rural mid-Wales. I feel fortunate to have raised my two girls, Ella and Lucy, here and I couldn’t have asked for a better start to their education than the nurturing environment of Southrop School. One of the best things about living here is the wonderful sense of community that has never been more apparent than during this period of lockdown. I can’t see myself ever moving away.
I enjoy working as an optometrist for Haine & Smith Opticians, travelling to different practises as needed. However, with routine examinations being suspended due to COVID-19, I’ve been furloughed. But if anyone has an eye emergency during this time, they should still call their optician for advice, as essential eye care continues to be carried out.
For several years I have helped at Southrop Community Shop, open on Wednesday mornings in our Village Hall, and run by volunteers. Since lockdown and the need to shop locally we have been busier than ever. Along with our usual non-perishable goods we have recently been able to supply fruit, veg and freshly baked bread thanks to Charlie from Thyme. In the past, our customers also enjoyed a chat over a cup of tea or coffee. We do hope to be able to put the kettle on again before too long, and to welcome you to join us.
I love walking, running and being outdoors, whatever the weather. Last year I suggested to a few like-minded people that we should gather every Sunday at 9am on the village green for a short run or walk. This has proved popular and we have named ourselves ‘Southrop Runners and Striders’. Sadly, we have had to pause for now but hope to get going again soon. Please come along once lockdown is lifted. All ages and abilities are welcome – it is a great sociable start to your Sunday!
The devastating effects of COVID-19 are hard to take in and lockdown has had its challenges for us all. However, we are very fortunate to be spending this time in the beautiful CHEQS villages.
Margaret Stranks – Editor