Volunteers at the Combe Martin Community Shop are celebrating a hugely successful first 18 months and almost £10,000 donated to local good causes.

It is literally a 'rags to riches' story and a testament to the support of the community and a handful of determined people.

Volunteers were distraught when the popular RSPCA charity shop by the seafront closed in October 2017 - but in April 2018 it had reopened as Combe Martin Community Shop following a full refurbishment.

This was made possible by a chance meeting between the former shop manager Carole Parsons and Martin Worth - he asked her if she'd like to see it reopened and the rest is history.

Mr Worth made it possible for his judo club to loan the shop £9,000 and later on arranged for the purchase of a shipping container to keep stock in.

Local trades also gave up their time and helped to carry out a complete refurbishment.

Today, the loan is paid back and the shipping container is paid for, plus the shop has so far been able to donate £9,600 to numerous good causes in the village.

Mr Worth said: "The most important thing is the local people that donate to this shop - that's paramount to its success and it's really supported so well.

"Also important are all the volunteers, who give their time so freely. A lot of groups and organisations in this village will get things because of this group of people.

"And a big thank you to all who helped with the refurbishment, including John Fuller, JP, Ian Johnson Electrics and Robert Cook Flooring."

Mrs Parsons changes the shop display window every week, which is remarked on by many visitors, as is the plush changing room, which has to be seen to be appreciated.

Mr Worth joked that he tells anyone who will listen that a mysterious 'little old lady' comes down once a week to do the window.

Mrs Parsons said: "If it had not been for Martin, none of this would have been possible.

"The shop is well supported by the volunteers and all the volunteers are brilliant, they are so willing."

Recent donations to good causes has included £1,500 to Combe Martin Silver Mine Research and Preservation Society, £700 to Shammick Art Group and the purchase of a new display case for Combe Martin Museum.

The shop is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and can be contacted via its Facebook page or call 01271 883286.