Ryedale District Council’s festivities campaign is helping citizens and visitors enjoy the district with a focus on staying safe, shopping local and going green. This week the spotlight is on businesses in Norton that are full of festive cheer and COVID-19 safety measures.

Derwent Pharmacy

Staff at Derwent Pharmacy got festive this year on 10th December (and will remain so for the rest of the festive period) as they donned their best Christmas attire for the NSPCC Christmas jumper day. The photograph also shows a tree decorated with pharmacy-themed decorations that have been creatively made by the House Martins Out of School club at St Marys School upcycling using tablet bottles, tablet boxes and even medicine spoons. 

Although the pharmacy doesn’t offer much by way of festive gifts or experiences, the staff are still spreading the message that unfortunately coughs and colds are still very much part of all our lives, as well as Covid-19, and as such they do stock a range of products to help people through their winter illnesses. To keep customers safe the team at Derwent Pharmacy have conducted a thorough Covid-19 risk assessment throughout the pandemic and have adapted this accordingly as guidelines have changed.  

“The major thing that has helped us in this is the relocation to our ‘new’ premises – this has given us much more space both for staff and customers to aid with social distancing and helping people feel safer. On a day to day basis, we keep fresh air moving through the shop by keeping doors open, we have hand gels throughout the shop and try to keep people to a one-way system as best we can, all staff have been wearing face coverings throughout and we have encouraged customers to do the same even when it wasn’t compulsory. Our free prescription delivery service has got busier to allow for delivering to more vulnerable people and those who are isolating.”Gazette & Herald:

Asked why people should shop local and the difference it makes to their business the team said, “Shopping local gives so much back to the local economy and also helps keep shops and services available to everyone. Local independent businesses will always do what they can to help people, and this has been even more evident this last 20months. The effort and work that has been put in by all local businesses is a credit to the town and shows how much they all care about the local community. This isn’t only within the remit of their own business, but how they all look out for each other and support other businesses in the town. It is amazing what can be achieved when people work together.”

Derwent Pharmacy have been trying to put a number of initiatives in place over recent years to help ‘go green’ and reduce their carbon footprint such as reducing plastic bag usage (their newest ones are 100% recycled), recycling cardboard, the new premises has predominantly LED lighting to reduce energy usage etc. Their current project that should hopefully be in place by the New Year is to replace the delivery van with a fully electric van.

“We do a lot of deliveries both in town and the surrounding villages and we hope that having an electric van will make a big difference to reducing our own carbon footprint. It goes back to the previous point – you can’t change the world by yourself, but if everyone does their bit it’s amazing what you can do.”

Visit their website at www.derwentpharmacy.co.uk or pop in to see them at Ian Beecham House, Norton Road.

Nesfield and Piercy Traditional Family Butchers

Christmas is the busiest time of year for Nesfield and Piercy Traditional Family Butchers. They always want to make it special for everyone. The Christmas decorations are up in the shop to help everyone get into the festive spirit. Staff got the decorations up early before they get as busy as elves prepping the Christmas orders. Orders can be collected right up until Christmas Eve at 2pm. Staff are always warm and welcoming and are happy to help with any advice on how to cook any of the meat to really make the most of it on Christmas Day (or any other day of the year too!)

To keep safe with Covid-19, staff are looked after and they ensure that lateral flows are done regularly. Cleanliness and hygiene in the shop is very vital so the team are always making sure areas are clean, tidy, and staff are washing hands regularly also.

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Not able to come into the shop? Nesfield and Piercy are also doing free deliveries to those who are unable to go to the shop due to being in isolation or feel uncomfortable doing so with COVID around. They are happy to accept Facebook messages for this or telephone calls and the team try and complete this task on the days that are suited to them.

Their Christmas meat pack includes meat suited for your perfect Christmas Dinner and as “we know that there are different numbers of families, we have done three different Christmas packs to hopefully suit everyone. Throughout the year we also do ‘meat packs’ which are available and have different selections of meats in them. These are on Facebook and also written on our boards in the shop."

Free deliveries are given to those that are unable or have asked if we are able to help.

Still looking for a great gift this Christmas? Why not consider buying a voucher for friends and family to which they can spend as they wish and when they wish, these range from £5 + and are available in the shop.

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The team at Nesfield and Piercy said on shopping local:

"People should shop local to help businesses keep alive, giving our staff who live locally a job they enjoy and our families feeling proud. It’s not only our business you are helping but farmers from where the meat comes from, we can’t thank our supporters enough through the years and seeing them come back makes us feel proud.”

Helen’s Nails

Helen from Helen’s Nails “absolutely adores this time of year” and loves getting all of her customers into the festive spirit too! The salon is decorated with lights, tree and lots of glitter and Christmas music plays from morning until night with everyone welcome to sing along!

This year Helen has a very mischievous elf called Twinkle who gets up to all sorts in the salon from testing the face masks to having fun pinching the Christmas sweets. There is an advent calendar and each day one of the customers wins the contents of the draw. Festive Nail Art is also on offer at request.

During the pandemic and in such a close working environment Covid safety is of paramount importance and so many steps have been taken to ensure the safety of staff and customers alike including:

  • Perspex screens in reception and treatment areas
  • Face masks to be worn at all times unless exempt
  • Hand sanitisers by the entrance, on reception and on treatment stations
  • Full clean down of areas between clients including door handles
  • Limited number of people in the salon at any one time

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Helen said, “ I feel it’s important to make people feel comfortable and listened to without judgment.”

Want to treat yourself or a loved one this Christmas why not pop down and ask about Helen’s range of festive services or gift experiences including vouchers, festive nail art, skin care gifts and more. Early and late appointments are available too.

Why should people shop local? “I feel this is important as you get a more personal experience and build lasting relationships with local businesses. As a business you get to know your customers you’re able to offer a more tailored experience. I value and appreciate each and every one of lovely ladies.”

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You can also be assured that many actions are being taken to ‘go green’ too such as using refillable containers, cutting down on the use of disposable and non-recyclable consumables, where possible use, supply and encourage the use of products that are ethically sourced and sustainable and more.

Treat yourself (if not a loved one) this Christmas and get yourself booked in with Helen and add a bit of festive cheer – 29 Commercial Street, Norton or give her a call for an appointment on 01653 692162.

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