Community Hub

12th May 2017, 11:11am | By Steve |

Community shops are sustainable, democratic forms of businesses that succeed where commercial ventures have failed.

In a climate that sees around 400 commercial village shops close each year, community-owned shops not only represent a better form of business, they directly respond to some of the key challenges facing rural communities today like lack of services and isolation.

They trade primarily for community benefit and their interests are linked into community control. Community shops have open and voluntary membership, whereby members are part owners of the business and all members have an equal say in how the business is run, regardless of their level of investment.

In a nutshell:

In the Chalke Valley, the retention & revitalisation of a village Shop and PO amenity was identified locally as fundamental to a thriving rural community in The Western Chalke Valley. A startup team was created in March 2012 to examine potential locations and feasibility of creating a new shop and this resulted in the creation of the Chalke Valley Community Hub as a vehicle to develop the shop along the lines of an Industrial Provident Society.

In October 2012, the start-up committee arranged two public meetings in Broad Chalke Village Hall. The purpose of the meetings was to present proposals to the Chalke Valley community, to obtain feedback at the meeting through questions and answers and to issue a questionnaire. The meetings were very well attended and the proposals received enthusiastic support. The requirement for a shop and PO facility was overwhelming.

Chalke Valley Stores opened in 2013 in the United Reform Church in Broad Chalke, and in less than two years became the hub of the valley. They stock a wide range of fresh produce, household staples and gifts, all very reasonably priced and sourced, wherever possible, from local suppliers. The hub also contains a coffee shop and post office. What makes this project special: The shop and coffee shop are run by more than 100 volunteers who give up their time for free, including teenagers on work experience. The support for the Shop and PO had the backing of no less than 96% of respondents to a Community Survey based on responses from almost 60% of the village’s 260 households (representing 650 residents). In May 2014, less than a year after opening, they won the Daily Telegraph / Countryside Alliance award for Best Village Shop / Post Office in the UK.

How you can replicate this project where you live:

  • Establish local need – is a community shop required / viable / desired?
  • Talk to Chalke Valley Stores or another community shop about their experience
  • Identify local volunteers and organisers
  • Promote the scheme to gauge local support
  • Form an appropriate group to take the project forward

Find out more and get in touch: Web: www.chalkevalleystores.co.uk

Support from your local community engagement manager:

You can access documents, templates and funding advice from your local community engagement manager to help get your project started:

Comments and Discussion

Comments are closed.

Make a Post

You must be logged in to add a post.
First steps for new groups

First steps for new groups

When you are thinking about setting up a new group, it...

AlexaDaviesCEM

Following its pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030, and...
Volunteer with Alzheimer’s Society

Volunteer with Alzheime...

Do you have some spare time to get involved in a volun...
Recycling scheme for Wiltshire Air Ambulance needs your help

Recycling scheme for Wi...

The voluntary group Recycle for Wiltshire Air Ambulanc...
Wiltshire Council Get Active Holiday sport programme keeps kids active this summer

Wiltshire Council Get A...

With the summer holidays only a few weeks away, Wiltsh...

AlexaDaviesCEM

Have you booked your place at the #Marlborough Our Com...
Important news for all budding community reporters

Important news for all ...

You may have noticed that we have changed the look and...
Setting the aims of your group

Setting the aims of you...

It’s a good idea to  work out the aims of your gro...
Motiv8

Motiv8

Motiv8 exists to improve the life chances of young peo...
Dementia Friendly Marlborough

Dementia Friendly Marlb...

We are looking for people in Marlborough to help make ...

AlexaDaviesCEM

Lots to enjoy in #Calne this #Halfterm and why not tak...

AlexaDaviesCEM

Have you booked your place at the #Marlborough Our Com...
Wiltshire Council Get Active Holiday sport programme keeps kids active this summer

Wiltshire Council Get A...

With the summer holidays only a few weeks away, Wiltsh...
Sovereign Housing- a Community Engagement Model

Sovereign Housing- a Co...

Have you ever wanted to see change in your community? ...
Age UK Fitness and Friendship Social Club

Age UK Fitness and Frie...

Very friendly social Clubs  for older people with an ...
Barnardo’s issues urgent plea for Marlborough volunteers

Barnardo’s issues...

Wiltshire club issues urgent appeal for more volunteer...
Buckle up in March for Child Car Seat Safety Month

Buckle up in March for ...

Wiltshire Council and partners are running three child...

AlexaDaviesCEM

Latest local news : BBC 1's The Big Questions - https:...
Dementia Friendly Marlborough

Dementia Friendly Marlb...

We are looking for people in Marlborough to help make ...
Mind Reset, in Malmesbury and Chippenham

Mind Reset, in Malmesbu...

“In all the Community Areas in Wiltshire Young Peopl...
Opening a bank account

Opening a bank account

Running any group costs money and it’s a good idea t...
Open Access Youth Café, Chippenham

Open Access Youth Café...

The Chippenham Community Area Young People Needs Asses...
Council continues on its carbon neutral journey

Council continues on it...

Following its pledge to be carbon neutral by 2030, and...
Repair cafe

Repair cafe

"The UK generates 26m tonnes of waste every single yea...
Carers invited to information and support event

Carers invited to infor...

Who looks after the carer?   What support i...