Our Whitehaven News Trader of the Week is Helen Dixon, owner of Wool ’N’ Tots and Dixon’s Jewellers on Lowther Street, Whitehaven.

Helen is keeping the long-serving family businesses running in spite of the challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Helen took over the jeweller’s shop from her father John Dixon 20 years ago and opened the wool shop next door, Wool ’N’ Tots seven years ago.

“My dad bought the business in 1970. I grew up behind the counter.

“Now it’s me and my kids. They’re helping out.”

June would have been the 50th anniversary of the jeweller’s shop and Helen had big plans for the celebration, but, following the Covid-19 outbreak she is now focusing on serving customers in any way she can.

“Items that people have had on order I have been getting to them and things that have been in for repairs,” she says.

And Helen has been supporting people in the town with the wool shop next door.

“I’ve been taking knitting supplies to people who are self-isolating. Knitting is a good way to pass the time” she said.

Helen has used supplies at the shop to support people in their projects that thank frontline NHS staff and key workers.

“I saw someone put on Facebook that elastic for making face masks is like gold dust. I said ‘I’ve got some!’”

“One of my ladies, who is a good customer, has been doing those crocheted rainbows.

“She’s had all my rainbow-coloured wool.”

Helen added that, although times are hard, she is confident that the high street will return to strength providing customers support local and family-run businesses.

To stay connected with her customers, Helen organised an online competition. Customers had the chance to win a piece of the store’s jewellery if they liked the page and shared the competition post with friends.

“That reached 22,000 people,” she said.

“It was a bit of fun for people to post and tag their friends and say ‘I hope I get it’.”

To submit your nomination for a dedicated trader, log on to https://www.whitehavennews.co.uk/my/ccn/questionnaire/HEcWntCA/