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Mystery donor treats axed village shop staff to farewell dinner



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The Sainsbury's Local in Brockenhurst was one of three shops to shut in quick succession
The Sainsbury's Local in Brockenhurst was one of three shops to shut in quick succession

STAFF from the shut-down Sainsbury’s store in Brockenhurst who met up for a farewell meal at a local hotel were stunned when a guest paid their £400 bill.

A dozen people who worked together in the Brookley Road branch were enjoying dinner at the Forest Park Hotel in the village on Saturday night when the manager told them of the generous gesture.

“He said that our meal and drinks had been paid for by someone staying in the hotel and we were just amazed,” former cashier Sammy Bruce-Burgess told the A&T.

“It was very humbling to think that someone would do that for us.”

Sainsbury’s had been in the village since it took over the former Londis premises around five years ago.

Many staff had worked there for much of that time, with four of them having also been there when it was Londis.

Brockenhurst Sainsbury's staff had a farewell dinner at the Forest Park Hotel
Brockenhurst Sainsbury's staff had a farewell dinner at the Forest Park Hotel

“Obviously it was sad that we wouldn’t be working there any more as we had a great rapport with customers, many of whom were quite elderly, so we were always helping them get things off the shelves or taking their bags out to their cars,” said Sammy.

“But whoever paid our bill really made it a night to remember – it was such a lovely treat,” she added.

Kevin Wood, who is the director of the Forest Park which reopened in April after a £2m refurbishment, told the A&T: “Someone was staying in the hotel for their own celebration and when they learned about the Sainsbury’s party they asked if they could buy them all a drink.

“Then they offered to pay for all their meals with desserts.

“It was a very nice thing to do and we insisted on giving the benefactor drinks on the house because that sort of thing really touches you.”



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