News Centre


Barnsley MP and Community Shop Secure Vital Food Industry Support for new Social Supermarket


05/10/2016


Community Shop News


At a high level roundtable at New Lodge Community Centre last week, MP Dan Jarvis secured the support of some of the area’s biggest food manufacturers, businesses and local politicians, to make Community Shop Athersley one step closer to becoming a reality.

Barnsley MP and Community Shop Secure Vital Food Industry Support for new Social Supermarket

At a high level roundtable at New Lodge Community Centre last week, MP Dan Jarvis secured the support of some of the area’s biggest food manufacturers, businesses and local politicians, to make Community Shop Athersley one step closer to becoming a reality.

Community Shop Athersley will be opened in partnership with the Coalfields Regeneration Trust later this month. The food on the shelves will be high quality surplus product from the manufacturing supply chain, which is perfectly good to eat and within date, but for a range of reasons couldn’t make it to the mainstream supermarket shelves. It could be that the weight of the product could be a couple of grams different to what it says on the label, or it might be that the label features seasonal promotions or competitions that are no longer valid. Either way, inside the packet is wholesome food, which Community Shop can sell at great prices to its members, preventing food waste and helping to stretch family budgets in tough times. 

When people sign up to be members of Community Shop they will also enrol themselves on The Success Plan, a personal development plan aimed at supporting individuals with the will and skills to succeed to address any issues in their life that might be causing them challenges. In the first two Community Shops that have opened, in Goldthorpe and Lambeth, London, the impact has been transformative.  After just one full year of operation, 73% of members felt better off financially and 92% felt that their confidence had been restored.

Community Shop Athersley will be made a reality thanks to the support of Barnsley Council and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT). CRT has acquired a former community building on Lindhurst Road, Athersley North, for the project and invested in the fit out of it. 

The final piece of the picture to enable the Community Shop to flourish is ensuring that the local food industry gets behind it and agrees to channel its surplus stock to fill the shelves. The roundtable last week, convened by Dan Jarvis MP, achieved exactly that. Attendees from Premier Foods, Cranswick Convenience Foods, Fosters Bakery and Haywood & Padgett all pledged their support for the store and agreed to work with the Company Shop and Community Shop teams to make it a reality. Other local food businesses including Fresh-Pak, New York Bakery Company and Cornscape-Largo Foods, couldn’t attend the event but indicated their willingness to support.

 

Speaking at the roundtable Ian Fisher, Managing Director at Cranswick Convenience Foods - which produces pork products - said:

“I am delighted that I was able to attend the Community Shop roundtable and show Cranwick’s support for a social supermarket for Athersley.

As a local business we are committed to investing in our community and giving something back. We look forward to donating surplus product to Community Shop and seeing the store, and the local community in Athersley, thrive”

 

Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central, added:

“I was delighted to see so many businesses backing this inspirational project. We have already seen the transformational impact that the Community Shop has had in Goldthorpe and we can’t wait to open the doors in Athersley. With the food industry's support, we can ensure that Community Shop thrives in our community and helps local people stretch their family budgets and improve their lives.”

 

Gary Ellis, Chief Executive of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said:

“The Coalfields Regeneration Trust is dedicated to supporting the 5.5m people living in former mining towns and villages throughout the UK, through programmes that prioritise skills, employment and health outcomes. We could not think of a better fit for our work than this partnership with Community Shop in Athersley. We are proud to be collaborating on this project and we urge local food businesses to get behind it to help the store to flourish.”

 

John Marren, Founder of Community Shop added:

“We are so excited by the opportunity to open a second Community Shop in our home county. We have a great space thanks to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and we are very grateful for the huge support we have received from Dan Jarvis and the local community, as well as the council and the CCG who have championed us. However, the last piece of the puzzle is to secure long-term local food partners. The pledges we received from all of the attendees at the roundtable will help us to deliver this Community Shop and we will now be working hard to convert those to firm commitments before we open our doors later this month.”