SHOWING their appreciation for the Post Office, residents across Barkham have raised more than £800 for the shop owners.
Last month, Charlotte Webb created a crowdfunder to thank owners Raj and Ashu Dole, who manage the Bearwood Road shop.
She said: “I live in a little close, and it started as just something between neighbours. I just wanted to do something for them.
“Raj and Ashu are currently running the shop together, as none of their staff can work and socially distance — the space is too small.
“And there is a queue outside all day every day.”
She continued: “They’re looking after everyone else, and working their socks off for the community. They’re doing people’s shopping for them too.
“I thought it would be nice to send them out for a meal after this is over, and then I had the idea they could maybe get a takeaway when Ashu doesn’t want to cook after a busy day.
“To be honest, I thought £200 was ambitious.
“Then one night I posted in the Finchampstead and Arborfield community groups on social media and lots of people I don’t know started donating.
“I can’t believe so many people think the way we all do. I’m going to print all the messages and put them into a card and then I want to give Ashu something she can remember this with, like a plant.”
“They’ve just been so amazing.”
In total, residents raised £883 for the couple which was presented to them by Charlotte along with a thank you card and plant.
Responding to the kind gesture, Raj Dole said: “We were really shocked when we received the gifts.
“At first we thought it was just a lovely card and plant, but when we realised there was money enclosed we wanted to give it to charity.
“Charlotte insisted that we keep the money for ourselves as a thank you for our work so we’re going to spend it on a holiday when things get back to normal.”
“We are only doing our job and happy to help so we really didn’t expect this.
“Every time we look at the plant in our garden now we think about all our lovely customers and how lucky we are to run our shop in a community like this.”
Local residents donating to the crowdfunder have called the duo heroes for continuing to support the community during such a challenging time.
Ian Cunningham said: “They are both so very helpful, offering to deliver to those completely locked down and those needing assistance. We could not want for a better friend in the community.
And Gaynor White, who runs the Barkham Hookers, said: “You have been quite incredible throughout this entire pandemic and I doubt you even know how much so many locals have relied on you. You are our heroes.”