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Each year the Leicestershire and Rutland Rural Community Council invite entries from their area to enter for awards. This year the shop was nominated for two categories, the Community Achievement section and the Cleaner and Greener section. We entered the Shop itself for the Community Achievement section, and were delighted to be given a Gold Award. The focus in the Cleaner and Greener section was on the photo-voltaic solar panels and the garden. Our joy increased when it was announced that we had received a Silver Award in this section.

If only the judges knew how close we were to not getting any panels at all! No one in this country was manufacturing them, in spite of all the noise about Climate Change and what we must do to reduce carbon emissions. The only manufacturers were in Germany, and the Government there had backed the use of PV panels in a serious way. This had led many of their neighbours to so the same. So PV panels were in very short supply across Europe. This may be why not much was being said in this country about encouraging their use. However, our suppliers managed to track some down, and they eventually arrived in Barrowden just days before the time limit which would have cancelled our Grant altogether. Happily, we just made it....like so much else in the saga of our Shop! We are delighted to be using 21st Century technology for a 21st century shop. Now we can generate our own electricity without drawing on the National Grid.