2020 has been tough for many businesses, so this year more than ever, it is important to support our local and independent businesses and there are many ways in which you can help, including; ⁠

Shop local; it may not be possible to physically visit your local shops but many more smaller businesses have increased their online offering this year in order to keep trading. Check online to see whether your local shops have established an online presence and order with them directly. 

Shop early; we can all be tempted by the convenience of next day delivery from companies such as Amazon but this year, plan ahead with your Christmas shopping and buy from smaller, independent businesses. The shipping may be a little slower so get your orders in early. ⁠

Think about vouchers; the hospitality industry has been particularly hard hit this year and even if your favourite local restaurant isn’t currently open due to Covid restrictions, why not buy a loved one a voucher to spend once lockdown rules are lifted? You’ll be giving them something to look forward to and will provide the business with cash flow whilst they’re closed. ⁠

Support your local farmer or deli; when it comes to the Christmas food shop think about local butchers, farm shops and delis rather than the big supermarket chains. Most will offer an option to order ahead of time so get your order in now and avoid the stress of the supermarket.

Give the gift of stress free cooking; lots of local catering companies and restaurants are offering delivery services now that you can simply reheat and serve. A great idea if you aren’t able to have your friends and relatives over in person, send them the next best thing – Christmas dinner to their door!

Don’t forget charities; many local charities are struggling, those depending on their shops and events to raise funds have found it particularly hard. Making a charitable donation on someone’s behalf is a great gift – especially for those hard to buy for people! ⁠

Amazon Smile; if you are going to shop with Amazon this year make sure you shop through Amazon Smile. A percentage of your purchase will be donated to a charity of your choosing, at no extra cost to you.

Amazon Smile

Some of our favourite charities and independent businesses;


Puddini Caterers are based in Willingham and are offering a Christmas day box which will be delivered direct to you on Christmas eve. Inside is a fully prepared Christmas lunch, complete with very simple instructions and ready to be finished in your oven on the day. You can choose either a complimentary bottle of Villa Sandi prosecco or handmade chocolates to help kick off the festivities, and design your own bespoke menu by choosing from their selection of starters and desserts.

Prices start at £40 per person for a 3 course Christmas dinner with all the trimmings

Visit the website http://puddini.co.uk/

Creating Nature’s Corridors We couldn’t fail to mention our very own Vhari’s wonderful charity, Creating Nature’s Corridors which aims to plant over 10,000 trees and hedges across the UK per annum. You can easily support the charity by buying a tree, which also makes a brilliant gift. Head over to the website to find out more about the work Creating Nature’s Corridors is doing and how you can get involved.

Visit the website https://www.creatingnaturescorridors.co.uk/

Bee Bee Wraps beeswax and leaf wraps make a great eco gift and can even be used as gift wrap to give two gifts in one. Their leaf wraps are vegan friendly and there are a range of sizes and designs to choose from.

Visit the website https://beebeewraps.com/

Orriss & Son is a small batch sauce producer specialising in fermented chilli condiments, seasonings and rubs. They’re perfect for any foodies in the family and make a great addition to a homemade hamper.

Visit the website https://www.orrissandson.com/

Ruby and the Angel based in Stowmarket in an independent gift shop Ruby and the Angel are a real one stop shop for gifts this Christmas and have everyone on your list covered.

Visit the website https://www.rubyandtheangel.co.uk/

Sapling Spirits vodka is made in London using locally sourced ingredients and for every bottle produced, they plant a tree. Your bottle will have a unique code to use to see where your tree has been planted.

Visit the website https://saplingspirits.com/