So long to lockdown: Family firms begin search for county’s Covid hero

Mar 24, 2021

Adrian Smith and Emma Saul launch Northamptonshire’s search for the county’s Covid-19 hero.

THE SEARCH is on for Northamptonshire’s Covid-19 hero.

Two businesses in the county have joined forces to launch the So Long To Lockdown competition. They are looking for the person who has gone above and beyond the call of duty over the past 12 months and has carried on regardless of personal circumstances during then pandemic.

The search is the brainchild of Smiths Farm Shop, which has two premises in Northampton, and family butchers Sauls of Spratton. The winner will receive a hamper of goodies, which will include seasonal produce, locally made luxury products and a range of top-quality meats.

“For more than a year now key workers, volunteers, friends, family and neighbours have kept the county moving during the most challenging and unprecedented of times,” says Smiths Farm Shop owner Adrian Smith.

“Despite the worry and fear, there are people out there who have shown true grit and put others first. 

“To mark the third – and hopefully the final – lockdown, we wanted to do something to recognise these fantastic people. Everyone has a story and we want to hear theirs. Why do you think they deserve to win our So Long to Lockdown competition and be named our COVID-19 hero?”

Adrian Smith with Emma Price, of Sauls of Spratton.

Nomination forms can be found at both farm shops in Billing and Chapel Brampton. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges who will base their decision on the merit of their story and commitment during the pandemic.

“We are sure we are going to read some pretty impressive stories about brave and committed people,” says Emma Price, a director at Sauls of Spratton. “We have watched key workers keeping the vital services we have come to rely on ticking over, neighbours offering to shop for those who may be shielding and people who despite suffering from their own COVID bereavement have continued to think of others.

“As key workers ourselves, we know how tough this year has been on everyone and we thought marking the end of lockdown was the perfect opportunity to reflect on their dedication and say thank you. 

“We have been really happy to see some new faces shopping with us this year and hopefully we can encourage people to stick with us and continue shopping locally.”

The Smith family has been in business since 1958, while Sauls has welcomed customers since 1926 – a combined total of more than 150 years serving the people of Northamptonshire. Proud of their heritage, the companies support like-minded local food producers, providing them with an outlet to sell their homegrown products.

Over the last year Smiths has provided a Covid-safe space for their customers and dedicated key worker shopping hours every morning. Sauls has been delivering orders free to customers who order online or by phone, a vital lifeline to those shielding or unable to get out and shop.

Nomination forms are available from both Smiths Farm Shops and must be completed and handed in to staff by Monday April 5. The winner will be announced on April 12, when all non-essential shops are permitted to open once again.

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