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Businesses supporting each other to remember the fallen

Businesses supporting each other to remember the fallen

While many businesses are looking internally to cope with the pressures of lockdown and the impact on their livelihoods, a Castle Donington based manufacturer is supporting a local florist to bring light to the High Street and honour the fallen this Armistice Day.

Family owned Buddies florist has been part of the local community since 1984, and has had to close their doors to customers while adhering to COVID-19 restrictions.

Regular customer, Sandra Wiggins, a Director at DPI, missed her local High Street during lockdown and also understood the fear and anxiety restrictions have brought to shopkeepers. Sandra said;

‘Buddies always do wonderful displays, and Armistice Day is no exception. They’ve had to deal with restrictions from COVID-19, and all the worry that brings to business owners, but they’ve still worked to honour the day and help the community take part.’

‘Every community comes together to honour those who have served, past and present, and this year we’ve had to find how to do this in our own way. When we saw an opportunity to help I was there in a flash, and what Buddies have created is just beautiful.’

Bringing light to dark days

DPI create lightboxes and have been working since the start of the pandemic to pivot their manufacturing to build partitions to help businesses continue to trade. They donated a lightbox to Buddies to use in their display, which has bought light to Donington High Street and received praise from the local community.

Mother and daughter team, Angie and Amy Vickers, have worked together to create the display, which uses the backdrop of the DPI lightbox along with First World War medals and ration books from Amy’s great-grandfather Henry Vickers. Henry served in the Sherwood Foresters regiment and was captured as a prisoner of war and held in Germany before being discharged from service in 1919.

Remembering the fallen has even more significance

Amy said,

‘This year Armistice Day has been even more significant for us, while we remember the fallen we’ve been fighting a battle at home too. My Mum’s been a part of the hustle and bustle of Castle Donington high street for years, the village is her blood. The thought of her losing her much loved business keeps me awake at night.’

‘By making this display I hope people can see how much we care about everything it stands for, but its also a good reminder to show the community small businesses are still here and we’re fighting too.’

‘We normally sell poppies in the shop and we’ve been working with the British Legion to keep up fundraising efforts as much as we can. The feedback on the display has been amazing, and it gives us all hope that we have the support of the community and we will recover. We’re so grateful to Sandra and DPI for their support, it looks amazing lit up at night and it really stands out.’

Businesses need to stick together

Sandra said,

‘As businesses we need to stick together and support each other, if it isn’t the Dunkirk Spirt for modern times I don’t know what is. We always want to do our bit, and I encourage every business to do the same. Giving Buddies this light box might seem like a small gesture, but sometimes the smallest actions can show that people are there to help.’

‘Seeing this light, turned on even when the shops are closed, gives me that little extra bit of hope – and knowing we had a hand in helping to make it happen makes me immensely proud.’

Amy plans to keep the display updated using the light-up frame to encourage shoppers in Castle Donington to return to their High Street once restrictions are lifted.

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