COVERED Market traders are rallying to help customers self-isolating because of the coronavirus.

As more and more people are being forced to stay at home, traders at the Oxford market are going the extra mile to make sure their customers have got what they need.

Traders at the historic market are among businesses backing the Oxford Mail’s #StillopeninOxfordshire campaign, which is asking readers to highlight firms working hard to help customers get through the current crisis.

READ AGAIN: Oxford Mail launches #stillopeninoxfordshire

At the market, some businesses are uniting to reach out to customers who are unable to pay a visit.

Oxford Mail:

During the past few days, Gordon Piggott and his wife Verity, who run Bonners fruit and veg stall, have been operating a delivery service for customers throughout the county.

There is a delivery charge of £2.20 and Mr Piggott said the number of customers using the service was growing by the day.

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Bonners staff are now linking up with other food stalls in the market including Pershore Seafoods, Fellers Butchers and The Oxford Cheese Company.

Oxford Mail:

Mr Piggott, from Cumnor, said: “Our supplies are brilliant every day – there’s no problem with supplies so we are just trying to reach as many customers as we can.

“People have been on the phone to us in tears because they don’t feel they can get out of the house.

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“We are trying to deliver to as many places as possible – we have been out to Bicester and we will go as far as we can in Oxfordshire because we don’t want to leave anyone out.

“We are linking up other businesses in the market to deliver on their behalf, including Nash’s bakery and the butchers in the market and the fishmongers – it’s a home distribution system and it’s growing all the time.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Piggott said when the service started on Thursday there were 35 customers but that number has now risen to 150 a day.

He added: “Pedal & Post are helping us with deliveries in the city centre and city council staff are volunteering to help with our admin.

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“This is just starting out and there are bound to be teething troubles.

Oxford Mail:

“We know things are changing every day but there’s definitely a need out there.”

Mr Piggott said the crisis has meant a significant reduction in wholesale orders from colleges, restaurants and schools.

But the demand is steady from individual customers.

He added: “We can’t say no to anyone - and we are not putting up our prices.

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“I want to thank everyone at the Covered Market who is working together to make this happen - everyone is helping each other.”

Oxford Mail:

Mr Piggott urged customers to place their orders online at to keep the phone line 01865 242183 free for those who can’t go online.

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Other market traders including Graham MacDonald, of iScream gelateria, are urging customers to support them by placing orders during the challenging trading conditions.