When 2020 began, no-one would have dreamt that we would have spent the majority of our year at home for our own safety, and the serious ramifications this would bring both for people’s livelihoods and wellbeing. It has been tough for many people and it will be a long road to recovery in all senses of the word, but there are some very positive things to have come out of all of this in Darwen.
Supporting customers through good times & tough times
Darwen Market traders that offer essential food goods carried on working during the first lockdown, providing customers new and old with much needed deliveries. Many new customers have continued to shop at Darwen Market as a result and stuck with the traders through the second lockdown.
When lockdown restrictions were lifted, Darwen town centre businesses made the relevant changes to allow socially distanced shopping and worked hard to keep customer spirits up and their businesses afloat. The second lockdown provided another opportunity for businesses to adapt and offer their services to customers via delivery or collection. It hasn’t been easy but our shops and businesses have been there for us.
The Shop Darwen scheme
The Shop Darwen scheme was established to help to promote Darwen’s independent businesses by encouraging people to safely shop in our town centre. The scheme has already seen nearly 2000 people enter the monthly prize draws and two winners both receiving £50 of Shop Darwen vouchers. There are currently 31 businesses signed up and over 700 people signed up to the Shop Darwen database. Darwen Town Council have seen the benefits of the scheme and invested with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council on this project. A Christmas promotional leaflet and advertising have been created as a result.
Darwen’s own musical sensation
We have seen Darwen decorated with new festive decorations that have raised spirits and, thanks to the lockdown, the fantastic talents of the lovely Cormac Thomas were discovered whilst he recorded songs for his Gran. Cormac recently released a beautiful video of his latest record. He filmed it in Darwen, as a gift for his home town – what is more Christmassy than that? Crafty Vintage, more used to putting on events, have gone back to their crafty making routes and helped to dress Darwen Market beautifully for Christmas.
Councillor Phil Riley said;
“The community of Darwen has shown its fighting spirit and have come out safely and sensibly to the town centre when they could, and supported local businesses. Those who were isolating or didn’t feel safe coming to the town, have been getting deliveries to their doors. This has, without doubt, saved many businesses in the town and we want to say a very big thank you for your support.”
Catherine and Samantha Almond from Darwen Furniture & Gifts said;
“Darreners have shown their loyalty by shopping locally, but also by signing up to Shop Darwen, entering the prize draw, liking and sharing positive social media posts of local businesses and helping friends, relatives and neighbours to shop locally. This has been amazing and we are so grateful.”
“However, our local businesses still need your ongoing custom and support to help Darwen to continue to thrive. Please make continuing (or maybe starting) to shop local one of your New Years’ resolutions! “
There is still just enough time to pick up last minute Christmas items, so pop down to Darwen and have a very Merry Christmas from Darwen Town Centre!