The new Southern Co-op store in Abbotswood, Romsey, will open on 13 April with Easter fun for all the family. In true Willy Wonka style there will be a Golden Ticket competition, for which tickets will be distributed to neighbouring households shortly before the launch, and the day will also launch a bumper four-day Easter egg hunt in the store as well as free tasters from Jude’s Ice Cream.

Fifty prizes in total will be up for grabs in the Golden Ticket competition, including boxes of Prosecco truffles, bottles of Prosecco, Amazon and Dine Out gift cards, a brewery tour for two to Hogs Back Brewery, a year’s supply of Montezuma chocolate and ‘Local Flavours’ food hampers. The Easter egg hunt will run from 13-17 April, where children can win a cuddly bunny plus every child who takes part will receive a chocolate treat.

Abbotswood Community Association, an organisation set up to serve the brand new Abbotswood building development consisting of 800 homes near Romsey, has been chosen as the fundraising partner for the new store. Last month Southern Co-op invited local residents to nominate a worthy cause or charity they thought would benefit from funding.

The aim of Abbotswood Community Association is to transform the brand-new development into a thriving community by organising events and recreational activities that will engage all residents within Abbotswood and the neighbouring Romsey area.

As part of the new partnership, the association will join the opening day activities at the new Southern Co-op store on 13 April. As well as having the inaugural task of cutting the ribbon the group will receive a £1000 cheque from store on the day.

Rachel Wills, chair of Abbotswood Community Association said: “We are so thrilled to be chosen as the new Abbotswood Southern Co-op fund-raising partner; the association is run as a charity entirely by volunteers, and their support means the trustees will be able to move forward with the new Abbotswood Community Centre and support residents in setting up their own community groups. The final preparations are under way and we are keen to hear from anyone who may wish to volunteer their time to the project or to hire the new centre. The ongoing partnership with Southern Co-op will allow a two-way support with the aim of enriching lives both here at Abbotswood and beyond.”

The community centre will be home to many fundraising and social events, provide a hub for local people to come together and address everyday challenges such as social isolation, sexism, racism, crime and violence as well as support Southern Co-op with their own fundraising activities plus provide their colleagues the opportunity to volunteer for this great local cause in their own time.

Chris Armstrong, new store manager said: “We are thrilled to be working with Abbotswood Community Association. We chose them as our fundraising partner as we think it’s vital to support and encourage community spirit at every store location. Being next door to the association is ideal as it means we can work really closely with them – we can’t wait to see how the charity grows and develops.”

The new store will be home to an extensive ‘Local Flavours’ range, including locally sourced eggs, cheeses, handmade cakes, juice, sausages, ice cream, beers, cider as well as an instore coffee machine and instore bakery.

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