Lee Smith and Arwen Heaton have gone to incredible lengths in the five years since they opened Lorton Village Shop.

Otherwise known as 'The Shed with a View' the shop reflects Lee and Arwen’s ethical and environmental priorities, they stock groceries, handicrafts, coffee and ice creams, using local suppliers wherever they can

The couple, who moved to the picturesque village from South Barnsley, have achieved so much – creating a much-appreciated community hub, not to mention a great shop and cafe.

During lockdown the couple moved mountains in order to stay open, although closure was often on the table, they weren't going to back down to the unprecedented constrictions and uncertainties that were rife during those first few weeks.

Arwen said: "We were keeping an eye on things before it all happened and we were expecting to go into lockdown after what was going on in Europe.

"Before that happened we were already making changes in the shop and we quickly realised that we could stay open because we're an essential food supplier.

"Lee said we should start doing an order service and begin delivering, so we did."

It was at this point in the couple's plan that the tremendous community spirit in Lorton surfaced and village members from all around decided to deliver food and essential parcels to the elderly and vulnerable on their behalf.

A WhatsApp group of volunteers was started among the villagers.

All Arwen and Lee needed to do was place a message of what and where and someone would come to collect the parcel.

"The people in the village and the demographic of those were in need the most were also the ones who had to self-isolate," Arwen said.

"The delivery option took off and we very much felt essential.

"Lee was amazing - he went above and beyond even delivering people's shopping from Sainsbury's some days to make sure that people were looked after, got what they needed, and that nobody was put at risk.

"We still do the deliveries for people who don't feel safe in the shop quite rightly because of the summer holidays and the area being a bit busier than usual.

"Along with many other little businesses in the area we're keeping masks and sanitiser on entry because it's like any other independent business - if we get pinged we have to close.

"We're not going to take that risk."

Lee and Arwen intend to keep their services running for anyone in need in the village.