LOCAL BUSINESS FINALISTS
As you will see below we received a huge number of amazing nominations all of whom contributed to and supported our community in so many ways. Many businesses received more than one nomination so to keep it simple and share stories, we have used one example per nominee to help demonstrate why they are in the final! This is also a great opportunity to discover local businesses on your doorsteps.
Below you can read why these businesses are finalists. Voting has now closed and the winners will be announced on 1st December 2020!
The prizes are:
1) Spotlight Package (Premium) with Thame Rewards Club - Shop OX9 (12 months)
2) Get Visible Package (Premium) with Thame Rewards Club - Shop OX9 (12 months)
3) Get Visible Package (Premium) with Thame Rewards Club - Shop OX9 (12 months)
The top three businesses with the biggest number of votes win... simple! All finalists below will receive a Business Champion certificate to celebrate their contribution which will include all the kind words they received.
Atalay - for adapting their ordering system to ensure they could continue to provide food safely whilst also working tirelessly to cope with a huge increase in demand.
Ali Anderson Boxercise - I would like to nominate Ali's Boxercise Thame in this category. Ali's Boxercise business is quite a new local business, and run by the very committed and enthusiastic Alison Bell. Through lockdown Ali very quickly adapted her business so we could still do boxercise virtually. She quickly made equipment, safely available to her members so we could shadow box at home with her classes or many of us enlisted the help of our partners to box with at home. All through lockdown Ali has put on an extensive time table of boxercise and other HIT and cardio classes. Week in week out she has delivered classes early in the morning and in the evening and weekends, to fit in with people's work commitments, providing both live and recorded classes. Her enthusiasm and energy is infectious and I have been so grateful to Ali for keeping her classes going through lockdown.
Autoparts - They we’re open during COVID and are always very helpful and you’ll be surprised at all the items you can find in there and nowhere else in Thame
Autumn Years Care -Their staff put themselves at risk of the virus to ensure the continuity of excellent care to individuals otherwise entirely isolated as their families were prevented from visiting due to government guidelines. Autumn Years Care were able to identify individuals displaying symptoms of the virus who otherwise may have been missed due to their isolation without our home care service
Baby Sensory (Thame) - Ali has worked tirelessly during lockdown to help parents and babies to have some social interaction and development. It has been incredibly difficult for new parents without the support of baby groups, health visitors and peer support from other new parents. Her sessions have been fun and beautifully adapted. She always has a huge smile on her face and makes everyone feel welcome. She has even sent videos for how to make props to use at home for the sessions!
Bizzie Lizzie Florist - For continuing to provide a fantastic high quality service throughout and bringing colourful cheer into our homes.
Bucksum Farm Shop - They set up a whole new system and arranged vegetable deliveries just before lockdown began for anyone vulnerable or shielding. Amazing service and always great customer service!
Busy Bees Playgroup - were amazing during lockdown, they. It only stayed open for keyworkers, but made sure the children staying at home received home visits. All children were hand delivered craft packages to keep them entertained. Amazing staff, who went out of their way to ensure children & families were coping during lockdown
Cakes by Betty - She supplied and delivered over 200 free cupcakes to anyone who requested them for elderly relatives or key workers confined to their home because of Covid! She delivered cakes to the elderly and NHS free of charge to keep people’s spirits up during lockdown
Carrie Messmore -She put on so many free classes online as well as moving her regular classes to be online. She focused on well-being and made me feel connected to a group.
Cavendish Events -For providing home delivery pre cooked meals, fruit, veg and other food boxes. An excellent service and quality service, keeping us safe by allowing us to stay home through lock down.
The Chandos Arms (Oakley) - Dawn, Stuart and their Team have worked tirelessly to deliver food from the start of lockdown. They have fed villagers in Oakley, Worminghall, Ickford, Shabbington, Long Crendon, Ludgershall etc. Delivering excellent quality cooked dishes and even setting up a pop up shop delivery using local producers. They have been truly amazing!
The Clifden Arms (Worminghall) - for the fast offer of fruit, veg and breakfast boxes and pop up weekend shop for those who couldn’t or shouldn’t leave the house / access transport safely. Then takeaway pizza etc. Moved fast with helpful services!
The Cornfield Bakery - they stepped up during lockdown by diversifying there delivery business to deliver milk, bread and vegetables to residents.
The Cottage Bakery - They have gone above and beyond helping me. Have had deliveries and even at short notice too.
Always so lovely to see them when they deliver as we have been shielding and they are very friendly. They have been amazing.
CW Active Sports - The team at CW Active have provided everyone with live entertainment on their Facebook page from Discos, Quiz Nights, Bingo and much more. Not only this, they walked around Chinnor with their Mascot Spartacus waving and bringing joy to all the children who were locked down in their homes. A real asset to the community.
Feet First - for providing free treatment for NHS staff
Fitlife (Haddenham) - The staff at this gym have built a wonderful, supportive community that many members have come to rely on over the years and over lockdown many of us really felt the absence of being able to go to the gym in person. However Steve and his team really went above and beyond to continue to be a positive presence. Despite being a small business and many members protesting, all membership fees were cancelled throughout lockdown, yet 6 livestreamed classes for all abilities were posted everyday. As well as this, activities such as virtual run clubs and distanced cycles were organised. When lockdown was eased, outdoor classes were started up to the excitement of many, yet online classes continue for those who may not yet feel comfortable returning. I cannot thank fitlife enough for keeping me sane, and providing some very necessary routine throughout a very difficult time.
Fox & Goat (Tiddington) - for their awesome takeaways and being one of the first places to get it up and running despite having never done takeaways before.
Groves (Thame) - providing haberdashery to 'A stitch in Thame' who made a huge number of masks for the community
Heni Fourie Photography (Thame) - for his doorstep photographs of the people of Thame. It raised our spirits and raised £2,500 for Lord Williams's Young Carers. A fantastic effort and very much appreciated.
Imagine Photography (Agi Gallagher) - Agi used lockdown to raise nearly £4,000 for the Red Kite Family Centre in Thame. She took doorstep photos of over 50 local families and gave every penny of the money she raised to the RKFC. Not only was this a massive contribution to the RKFC, which lost so much of its fundraising income thanks to COVID, but it also brought together the community and gave so many of our families a momento of this time to cherish. Thank you Agi.
Jazzercise (Thame, Haddenham, Chinnor) - The amazing team have bought exercise into our homes from theirs in an action packed weekly timetable and guest instructors from around the world. They have considered the needs of their customer base, adapting class times as changes to restrictions happened and are even now bringing us safe classes in locals venues alongside streaming. It has all been done with their usual fabulous craziness, love and positivity. Thank you for getting us through this and allowing us all our regular exercise fix and knowing that although on screen I was not dancing alone.
Kubota (Thame) - For donating a vehicle to Thame Town Council to support the delivery of food parcels to those shielding.
Media Ace (Thame) - for providing the NHS with over 200,000 face shields, and essential PPE as well as local businesses and the community. They also helped keep Thame safe with helping to provide social distance signage.
MP Sports (Thame) - For keeping his shop open during lockdown to provide all sport Wear and equipment to the local community.
During lockdown offering his cricket ground facilities for the local community to exercise safely.
Musical Mayhem (Thame) - As they were no longer able to run their classes in person, they adapted to use Facebook Live and YouTube. Such a brilliant resource and something we looked forward to every week. They were always bright and cheery and helped reduce the feeling of isolation during lockdown - Especially for a first time mum trying to keep a little one occupied when not really being able to leave the house! They were absolutely brilliant.
Nathan Swift DJ - for giving us a party in our homes from his home for 15 Friday nights! Along with that raising over £10,000 for the Ronald MacDonald charity at the John Radcliffe hospital, Oxford. A true Thame Hero!
Native Feasts (Thame) - Loved how they innovated so quickly and reinvented their business model to start delivering amazing meals at home. Love their food and their whole ethos.
M Newitt & Sons (Thame) - I am a key worker and worked through out COVID and so Newitts delivered my order each week. They were helpful and supportive and always delivered at convenient times to fit in with my work. Really professional and hard working company.
M Smith & Sons Market Stall - for continuing to provide fresh produce to the local community whilst adhering to the necessary safety measures.
Peak Fitness (Thame) -Ali has gone above and beyond to keep everyone motivated, in touch with one another and provided those like me who live alone with daily contact through his amazing workouts. He organised quizzes so that the evenings weren't so long. As soon as he could get us back to live sessions safely he surprised us all with a fantastic new venue. His optimism and cheer kept us all going through a really tough time
Pentangle (Thame) - For setting up free e-commerce websites for local businesses to ensure that local businesses could adapt and continue trading.
People First Fitness (Thame) - Abbey took her full suite of classes and more online and kept us all going on our fitness aims throughout lockdown. She texted every single one of her clients frequently through each week, checking in with us and making sure we were ok. She also lent me kit so I could keep up with my training. She did all of this just asking for contributions if we could but you could attend everything for free. I live alone and she was one of the people I spoke to the most during those few months and genuinely kept me sane and well. She is an absolute diamond and not only is there for her clients she makes friends with us too. She also worked really hard during lockdown to set up her own micro gym in Thame so she can offer small, safe classes and 1:1 training with us now she’s allowed to operate again. She’s been one of my biggest supporters in the last 10 months and I wouldn’t be as contented as I am and as mentally well without her.
Powder (Thame) - For providing a 100% lockdown service. Diversifying online, personal delivery, expert knowledge and advice.
Powerhouse Bootcamp (Thame) - they kept everyone motivated to keep their body, mind and diet in order. Their online Bootcamp sessions were fantastic, catering for all. Often these were free and open to non members. They also put on quiz nights, bingo and other entertainment. They even found time to call their members and make sure everyone was OK.
Andrea Sarabia Lock (The Practice, Thame) - Andrea has led Pilates lessons via FB, 3 times a week throughout lockdown for a nominal sum. She has always been smiling and professional, week after week. She keeps us informed of the equipment we will need in advance via email and is organised and reliable. Her warm personality and encouragement to exercise have made the classes fun and have helped me physically and mentally throughout lockdown.
Swift Fitness - Rachel Swift is an excellent fitness instructor who thrives on being with her clients doing Zumba, circuit and other classes in and around Thame. Despite challenges with technology she has managed to provide her classes on Zoom, so she not only provides everyone with motivation and an opportunity to keep fit, she can also keep an eye on us to make sure that we’re all doing it properly. She has continued as though we’re all there in the room with her giving such a personal service in Her usual encouraging and supporting way. There have been so many difficulties with technology, but she’s managed them with good humour and listened to feedback to develop her classes. She’s kept so many people fit and health (Physically and mentally) during a difficult time.
Racquets (Thame) - They responded so quickly and positively to the lockdown, pausing memberships or rolling on the months we've continued to pay into the next year. Members could borrow equipment for free, All the instructors gave free classes online, including weights, yoga, over 60s etc which anyone could access to keep them fit and healthy, they maintained WhatsApp groups going to keep an eye on any lonely or vulnerable members and really kept the sense of community going. As lockdown eased they organised socially distanced walks and then outdoor exercise classes, all contributing to our physical and mental health during these past months.
Rumsey's (Thame) - For adapting quickly to continue providing delicious treats via home delivery and takeaway when they were peritted to do so!
Sandra Brookes Fitness - If I had to pick one person who had been my lockdown saviour, it would be Sandra at Sandra Brookes Fitness. She has provided the most brilliant online wellness programmes and fitness classes at a minimal cost. Having live classes to attend is an invaluable source of support. I’m fitter than I have been in ages and I’ve been inspired to take up running again, A few weeks into lockdown I could feel the bad eating habits kicking in but they were reversed and I lost a stone in weight. But more important than any of that, my mental health which was seriously challenged at times, has been preserved. I know I’d be in a totally different place and mindset now, had I not had the support and encouragement from signing up to Sandra’s fitness classes and being part of her online groups.
Sandy Lane Farm (Tiddington) - The farm developed a Covid safe click and collect system during lockdown which obviously was a lot of work for them. It meant we could get fresh delicious vegetables, mainly grown locally, in a very efficient way. They also supplied certain meat, dairy products and breads, working with local producers. They worked with a dry goods cooperative to source goods without excessive packaging. They also worked with Ten Mile menu to deliver veg boxes. The farm deserves recognition for adapting their systems for the good of community.
Smokin Donut (Thame) - For developing TILLO to support local business to adapt and sell their products and services online when they would have otherwise no option but to be fully closed.
Sylo - Beyond HR (Thame) - The team at SYLO have been brilliant at supporting local businesses through this challenging time. They have spent hours on the phone supporting business owners and their employees through the furlough scheme, working from home and a multitude of other issues that this time has created. All whilst dealing with their own business and most of their team working with young children at home and dealing with family illness and even death. They have been the ultimate professionals keeping all their clients, new and established up to date with all the constantly changing rules, regulations and updates from the government and WHO. Along side this their Trainers have produced free online training for helping to manage teams at home, how to use Zoom and helping your team work flexibly. The whole team have been amazing.
The Book House (Thame) - for providing online ordering and home delivery to help us keep entertained during lockdown. Thank you!
Turncloud - For providing free IT support to businesses during lockdown and for those working from home.
Wally's (Thame) for adapting to provide home deliveries of toys to keep the little ones entertained!
Wholefoods Pantry (Thame) - Despite Greg's own health risks, Greg has provided a much needed products with amazing customer service and deliveries during lockdown and beyond.
Wild Lemongrass (Thame) - For working flat out to provide home delivery and providing both a discount and priority delivery to NHS staff.
Windles (Thame) - For adapting to provide PPE for the NHS and community.
Wrens (Thame) - Not only have they stayed open with practically normal hours throughout lockdown, they have stepped up by providing a wider range of produce available to customers including some of the basics like milk, bread and pasta. All of the time, providing a friendly service with ever present smiles from all who work there.