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Friday, 03 July 2015

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Maryport woman opens shop on her home estate

A 21-year-old woman has reopened a shop in the heart of Hillside, one of Maryport’s most deprived estates.

NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: Stephanie Easterbrook, 21, has taken over the lease of the store and off-licence on Maryport’s Hillside estate with her mother Anita

Stephanie Easterbrook, who was born on Hillside and has lived there all her life, opened the shop on Monday.

She said that while the shop was closed Hillside residents had to go off the estate to do their shopping.

She said: “For those without transport and for the elderly it can be really difficult because Hillside is very hilly.

“Now if someone runs out of bread or milk they have this shop on their doorstep.”

The building, owned by Derwent & Solway, had been closed for over a year.

Stephanie and her mother Anita have taken over the lease and spent the past few months redecorating the shop, which includes an off-licence.

She said managing it was almost inevitable.

She said: “When it opened my godfather Stuart McDougall had it. Then it was run by his mother, my aunt Margaret, and now my mother and me.”

Stephanie’s mother, who is an assistant manager at Heron Foods in Senhouse Street, holds the lease and will help out when she is not at work herself.

She opened on Monday and said she was keen to hear what people on the estate needed. She will be selling the Times & Star from today.

Stephanie, who was born with a serious heart problem, said the shop would not be as physically demanding and tiring as her last job as a carer, despite the fact it will be open seven days a week, from 8am to 8.30pm on weekdays.

She said: “When I was born it was discovered that my main arteries were the wrong way around.

“I had emergency surgery and then a major operation at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

“By sheer coincidence there were six other babies suffering the same thing at the same time. They still call us the Freeman’s Magnificent Seven.”

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