Award-winning social supermarket network, Community Shop, marks its continued rapid expansion having opened the doors to its now seventh store in Wirral this week.
Community Shop is part of the UK’s largest redistribution organisation, Company Shop Group, and is undertaking its ambitious plans to expand its provision to reach even more individuals and families in need across the UK.
Its latest store opening is the first in a long pipeline of new stores, and the Wirral store, Community Shop Beechwood, has been made possible with the multitude of support provided by leading online retailer Ocado, as well as local partners including housing association Onward Homes, Wirral Council and charities Little Centre, Tranmere, Big Local and Be Wirral.
The expansion follows the release of Community Shop’s latest impact report this month, which records and celebrates the transformative benefits delivered through the unique Community Shop model over the last year, during which it supported over 10,000 members, who made an average saving of £212 per month on food that would otherwise have gone to waste. Other highlights included:
- Creating and distributing over 125,000 food and care parcels for the vulnerable and those shielding, which were tailored to specific requirements including dietary and those with new-born babies.
- Providing over 7,300 children with free access to food during the school holidays, with 31,542 families engaging with its renowned Healthy Holiday programmes.
- Supporting 902 members into higher education opportunities since joining Community Shop, and 642 members employment.
The latest store, Community Shop Beechwood, will support an estimated 750 members, offering heavily discounted food and products, which are on average around 50% off the normal retail price, helping families to stretch their budgets further. These have mostly been donated by major retailers and manufacturers, such as its long-standing supporter Ocado, and may otherwise have gone to waste.
Membership to the store is open to people who live locally, receive welfare support, and are motivated to make a positive change to their lives, and anyone who is eligible can sign up for membership here.
Alongside the discounted items, Community Shop members have access to the Community Hub and Community Kitchen. Hubs provide personal development support with everything from home budgeting to interview skills and business courses, while Kitchens offers wholesome hot meals to members and their families, with children eating for free. Include two stats here about number of members supported into work/employment/education.
Natalie Brown, head of Community Shop, said: “We’re really pleased to be able to open Community Shop Beechwood, which we are delighted to bring to Wirral. Community Shop will support local people in the area, whilst having a positive impact on the environment by tackling food waste. At the moment it’s more important than ever to be helping those going through challenging times, and we want Community Shop Beechwood to be a pillar of support for those who need it. We would really encourage eligible individuals and families to sign up as soon as they can, so that they can immediately benefit from the provision in store.”
Sandy Livingstone, executive director of property at Onward, said: “Onward strives to make a positive difference in the communities we serve. This is the third store we have opened with Community Shop in the North West. The health and wellbeing of our customers is important to us, we are partnering with Community Shop who offer good food at affordable prices, plus a wider range of services placed at the heart of the community.
“We have a long-term commitment to working for and supporting the community on the Wirral and in Beechwood and Ballantyne. It’s a pleasure to actively facilitate the opening of this new Wirral store.”