Leighton Buzzard s first Local4Lent campaign has been hailed a great success, despite the challenges posed by lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions.
From March 17 to April 3, residents were invited to take part in initiative which shone a spotlight on around 40 local businesses in the town and surrounding area. Organised by Totally Locally Leighton Buzzard, the aim was to challenge people to make small changes to their shopping habits and shop locally for 40 days of Lent with the core message being 'Don’t give up chocolate, beer or luxuries, give up big shops and shop local instead'.
The campaign involved shoppers being encouraged to spend with a stamp loyalty card (and if they couldn’t easily or safely shop in person due to Covid19 restrictions an online hashtag challenge). Just over £6,000 was spent in local businesses as a result.
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Business owners involved in the campaign have now picked the prize draw winners who each won some fantastic prizes kindly donated by participating companies. The prizes awarded were as follows:
- a digital subscription to My VIP Card won by Mary Eng.
- a pie making experience offered by Brockleby Pies won by Peter Fearnside.
- £25 of market vouchers won by Chris Hunter.
- a Nature's Harvest hamper won by Graham Spinks.
- the grand prize of a hamper (kindly donated by Pecks Farm Shop) with a selection of gifts from range of participating local businesses won by Steve Davies.
Totally Locally Leighton Buzzard wishes to thank shoppers who supported the campaign and especially all the local businesses for taking part including Selections, Chilli Island, Wilde Flower Shop, Jules Fashion Accessories, Bits and Buds, Dorvics, Cittadina Coffee, Allen’s E-Bikes, Mimic Gifts, Lock Services, Cod and Waffle, The Oliver and Hare, The Coffee Barn, Bathroomatic, Treasure Map Trails, Adrienne’s Flowers, Pecks Farm Shop, Chilli Island, Nature’s Harvest, The Dineyard, Reggie’s Corner, Gennaro Organic Hair and Beauty, Strattons Food Hall, Oliver’s Bakery, Miss Kavita’s Kitchen, Leighton Buzzard Brewery, Suzie Bidlake, Ali’s Paper, Black Cow Brownies, Leighton Buzzard Market and traders Reasons to Season, Turners Nurseries, Delisha’s Foods, The Good Life Refill, The Fudge Can, Little Shop of Cheese, R Harris and Sons, Franklin’s of Thorncote, Darren’s Fruit Stall, Ali’s Olives, Emporio Matozza, Morgan Pell Meats, Brockleby’s, Gusti dall Italia, Leighton Buzzard Honey Man, R Harris and Sons, Darren’s Fruit and Veg, Turners Nurseries, Chiltern Charcuterie and also three Aylesbury based businesses Eco.Bonobo, The Coffee Tree and Fruity Tooty.
A Totally Locally Leighton Buzzard spokesman said: " We appreciate the past year has been a challenging and scary time for lots of businesses faced with uncertainty of closures and their active involvement is even more appreciated.
"The campaign could also not have happened without the generous sponsorship of local print firm Rush and Warwick. The local Fairtrade Group, LB First and Jam on Toast Marketing, local Town Council and Leighton Buzz Radio were also supportive and encouraging.
"If you weren’t able to take part because you were shielding or for other reasons - don’t worry. Local4Lent will hopefully take place bigger and better next year. Also watch out for Totally Locally Leighton Buzzard’s next campaign to support the local area with the next edition of the national FiverFest campaign with loads of fantastic £5 spending offers showcasing the wide range of brilliant local businesses in and around the town. Ten businesses have already agreed to take part with more hopefully agreeing to take part soon. FiverFest is due to run from June 12 to 26."
Totally Locally Leighton Buzzard is a grassroots community initiative run by local resident, Edwina Osborne. The group is focused on doing activities and projects to bring the local community together and support local businesses.
It also hopes to hold a Jumble Trail and a Fun Palaces event in October 2021 and a street art festival in 2022. You can follow the group on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) including signing up to Fiver Fest and at https://totallylocallyleightonbuzzard.wordpress.com.