A COMMUNITY shop in Weymouth is providing a service to the public by keeping residents connected with local news amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Helping people stay at home as much as possible, the Spar shop on Preston Road has started delivering the Dorset Echo, as well as food and other items, to homes in the local area.

Barbara Clements - who has been the owner of the shop for 34 years - said she introduced the scheme to reduce the number of customers having to visit the shop in person.

A team of around 20 volunteers now take it in turns to deliver newspapers and other goods. They operate on a rota, with a handful of volunteers working at a time.

The store has also taken on staff from shops at holiday parks that were forced to close.

"We want to keep you in, we want to keep you safe - let us deliver for you," Barbara Clements said. "We deliver to anyone - families, elderly people and individuals. We try to accommodate everyone's needs."

The store has measures in place to prevent the virus spreading, including limiting the number of customers to two at a time, with two metres distance between each person and security guards to keep things running smoothly.

However, the message is for people not to come out at all if they can help it.

"We want to get the message out there for people to stay at home, and let us deliver instead." Mrs Clements said. "Thanks to our volunteers and team of 15 staff, we're able to help.

"Suppliers have been amazing and have upped their ordering to help meet demand. We've also taken on staff from holiday park shops that had to close; they've all been kept on."

Barbara and her late husband Mike acquired the Spar in 1986 and have developed it into a thriving neighbourhood store, winning Convenience Retailer of the Year award multiple times.

The delivery service means that elderly and vulnerable people who may not have access to the internet can still keep up to date with local news and public information without leaving the house.

To sign up for the deliver email Barbara at sparpreston@hotmail.co.uk or call 01305 832035.

* If you know a local shop or business that is going the extra mile email newsdesk@dorsetecho.co.uk