Social supermarket network Community Shop has opened its seventh store in the UK.
Located in Wirral, Community Shop Beechwood is the first in a long pipeline of new stores and has been opened thanks to support provided by 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 highlighted how it has helped more than 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; 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 and 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.
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.
Head of Community Shop Natalie Brown 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.”
Executive director of property at Onward Sandy Livingstone added: “Onward stives 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.”