Claire Butcher Manager of One Stop will be a Hard Act to Follow!

Mention One Stop in Littleport and the first person who comes to mind is Claire Butcher, who has been their Manager since 2013. You could say it was an end of era when she decided to leave the company as well as Littleport on November 30th to London having moved to the Fens from Kendal in the Lake District 13 years ago.
You could always spot Claire around the village. She would always be sporting a brightly coloured pink, purple or red hairstyle, and had time for everyone – happy to briefly stop for a chat in or out of the One Stop store whenever you met up with her.
From starting off as a Customer Service Assistant in 2009, Claire worked her way up to Shift Manager and then Store Manager.
And as Claire told Littleport Life, “One Stop has always encouraged all their stores to fundraise and make local charity connections, and that’s what we’ve always done.
“One of the first charity events I organised was helping to create the sensory garden at Branching Out. “After that we have continued to support many national charities including Macmillan Cancer Support, East Anglia Air Ambulance, Action Medical Research For Children In Need, Alzheimer’s Society, and local charities, especially PULSE who we helped to raise money for the defibrillator for the Leisure Centre.”
Claire even came up with idea of running a cake stall knowing how popular it would be amongst her customers, and then she went one better organising a ‘Ladies Night’ with male strippers at the Village Hall on Friday 31st of May 2013 which was raising money for Action Medical Research For Children In Need.
Claire did admit that it wasn’t as popular as it could have been because “I don’t think Littleport was really for it at the time, although we all enjoyed it”.
Claire’s final charity event before leaving Littleport was to raise money for an ‘indestructible’ waste bin by the Skate Park.
“It wasn’t until I saw all the rubbish being regularly cleared by some of our kind hearted local villagers did I realise that most of the discarded tins, bottles, sweet wrappers had in fact had been purchased from our One Stop store, so I felt duty bound to do something about it before I left,” said Claire, who has seen many staff members come and go since her time at the store, but had made some great friends for life along the way particularly those she met in the popular Crown Inn pub. She wanted to thank both Karen Bean and Trina Gathercole for their sterling work who had been at the store for 15 and 13 years respectively.
Claire said that the One Stop store suffered when the big Co-op opened near them on Wisbech Road, and worst still the shop was nearly put on the closure list when traffic lights were installed outside before the new school was being built. Claire has decided to take a short break before taking up a new career in catering or possibly training to become a butcher.
Claire wished her new replacement well saying they would be working with some great staff members. “Trina became like an adopted Mum to me, but I do hope that whoever becomes the new Manager of Littleport’s One Stop store continues to support the local community and build links with the groups they may be able to help and keep the tradition going.”
Cathy Gibb de Swarte

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