This year’s ‘Light Up Hassocks’ event went down a storm. About 6,000 people attended – the best year yet. We always put on a festive food fair with our local suppliers, with pride of place being given to the Hassocks Banger, which is sold as hot dogs by Bangers Galore brand owner David Bell himself.

We got great support from General Mills in the form of freebies to hand out, along with a Freddo costume from Cadbury, which had people queuing for a selfie with Freddo himself.

It was nice to see many customers give us compliments about the store and thanks for helping support the event itself.

Our other store in Henfield as yet has no big Christmas community event and this has spurred us on to create such an event, with our new community marketing manager well placed for this as she set up and ran Light Up Hassocks in previous years.

I would advocate all retailers to start really getting involved if they don’t already. Perseverance is key, but once people know that you genuinely want to be involved then the barriers come down.

I am tired of seeing our corporate competitors do nothing in the communities they serve when there is a community event. Just this weekend in my home village 
I saw a well-organised community event fail to be supported by the anchor corporate retailer who no doubt gets to benefit as it’s held right outside their door. The Londis store took the time to support and sponsor, so well done Ramesh!

Community involvement is still one of the ‘trump’ cards left, but to see dereliction of responsibilities by big retailers still makes me mad!