How you can help this Easter

by Andy Bryenton

It might be the single most important Easter message since the original one. This year, the need for a season of goodwill, rebirth and positivity is more urgent than ever before. There is something simple we can all do to help each other out as the nation joins forces to fight the coronavirus.

It’s a message we’ve heard before, but one, which is most valuable now — shop local! Communities are made up of small businesses. Consider who sponsors your kids’ sports team, donates to the charity raffles at Christmas, puts a float in the Santa parade, and who always steps up when there’s a prize needed for a fishing contest or school event. It’s those small firms with ties to this area, the ones started by mums and dads and staffed by local people who need to keep working through this crisis, for two reasons.

Firstly, because we need all those local services to keep functioning — no virus can stop life from going on. Things will break and need mending. The seasons will turn and dictate the need for work to be done on the farm.

We’ll still want to be entertained and informed and able to travel and communicate. In a small town, most of the small, core businesses we take for granted during regular times have been built-up for years or even decades. If they fall now, and for a reason as selfish as irrational panic, who will be left in a month or two when this virus is a collective memory of something we got through? Economics is heartless, but we don’t have to be.

That’s why we’re still running our Easter hamper prize draw, encouraging people to support their local businesses and win a seasonal gift. Around town, participating stores have been supplied with a cartoon Easter Bunny, each one with its own name. The game is to find the names of the bunnies and match them to the stores where they are hiding. For example — Roger is hiding in the Lifestyler offices (he’s not, he must have gotten away and gone to another shop). Email FIVE bunnies with their name and location to go in the draw to win a big basket of Easter prizes. Include in your email your name and phone number so we can call you if you win — emails to