A village post office has thanked customers and volunteers after it was shortlisted for a regional award.

Staff at the Sarratt Post Office Shop will find out if it has won the Countryside Alliance Awards’ best village shop and post office, East of England category, at the end of February.

One of the store’s managers Tracey Wilson told the Watford Observer why it has been recognised.

Watford Observer: Tracey (left) said she screamed when the shop was shortlisted.Tracey (left) said she screamed when the shop was shortlisted. (Image: Sarratt Post Office Store)

She said: “It is not only a post office, it is a shop as well and it is part of the community.

“It’s everything. We are a lifeline to a lot of elderly people because we do home deliveries and personal shopping.

“For some customers, if they can’t go out of the village, they can come in here and spend half an hour or an hour in the shop just talking.”

And the shop, which is a community interest company, also introduced a café in its patio area last year.

Like a lot of business, the store had to adapt during the pandemic.

Many of its 40 volunteers, who help in a variety of roles, such as behind the till or unloading deliveries, had to stop during lockdowns.

With 13 volunteers left, Ms Wilson, her co-manager and the post mistress, still continued delivering food parcels to people most in need.

When Ms Wilson found out the shop had been shortlisted, she said: “I screamed. I was ecstatic. We won in 2013 and haven’t entered in such a long time.

“It’s all down to the volunteers and the customers. Without them we wouldn’t be here, and I am immensely proud.”

Watford Observer: The shop is the heart of the community The shop is the heart of the community (Image: Google Street View)

Ms Wilson, who has been working at the store for 11 years, also thanked the customers for their loyalty, especially during the cost-of-living crisis.

She said: “Like most convenience stores we aren’t cheap because we can’t buy in volume.

“But we do offer quality and personal service. We know everyone in the village, and we look after each other.

“I was a bit concerned with the cost-of-living crisis, but we are not down on figures from last year. Customers are still backing us.”

Details on how to vote for the store will be released in February.