A CARISBROOKE woman, who got a job at her local store to save the family home, has celebrated 30 years of service.

Mel Lacey celebrated her anniversary at The Co-operative in Carisbrooke during lockdown on June 2, and says she still enjoys going to work every day.

The mother of six sons started working at the store when it was owned by David Harris, and was called David's. When he sold his stores to Southern Co-op in 2005, Mel was happy to continue and has now clocked up 30 years.

Mel, 61, said: "I aim to get to 40 years and will then retire. When I started working here in the late '80s, it was a time when the mortgage rates were at 15 per cent and I had just given birth to my second son.

"I needed to get a job to keep up with repayments and we still live in the same house 30 years on.

"I love being a customer service assistant. I don't think I have ever woken up and thought I don't want to go in today.

"I often feel like skipping to work as I live so close — it's like a family here."

Working for Southern Co-op has been a family affair as five of Mel's sons and her husband have all worked for the company.

She also ran the local nursery during some of that time, closing it last year.

Lewis Heaven-Gandy, store manager, said: "From running the local nursery to manning the local till, Mel has been a pillar in the Carisbrooke community since before I was born.

"Mel is a pleasure to work with and is known and loved by everyone in the community.

"Her passion for retail and her bright, bubbly personality ensures nothing but the highest customer service is delivered. She is a credit to the store."