Bretforton Community Shop reaches final of top industry award - The Evesham Observer

Bretforton Community Shop reaches final of top industry award

Evesham Editorial 29th Nov, 2016   0

VOLUNTEERS at Bretforton Community Shop are celebrating after the venue reached the finals of the Community Ownership Awards 2016.

The event is the only national awards programme recognising community co-operation around the UK and completes a sensational two years for the community in Bretforton.

Opened in December 2014, the shop which also has a small café, has rapidly become a hub for the whole community including local commuters as it has plenty of parking and is on the main road through Bretforton.

Open seven days a week, the shop relies on a team of more than 50 volunteers, working alongside three part-time assistant managers.

More than 250 local residents supported a community share offer to raise the money to build a new shop following the closure of the old village shop in 2013 and all have an equal say in ensuring the shop is run to support and benefit Bretforton.

Chris Buckham, Chair of the Shop’s Management Committee said: “Making it to the finals of these prestigious awards is a real tribute to the hard work and efforts of our staff and our volunteers who are constantly striving to make sure we deliver the kind of shop and hub that the village wants.”

The Community Ownership Awards are run by Plunkett Foundation, the national charity supporting people to set up and run community co-operatives – businesses that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people from within their local area.

Peter Couchman, Chief Executive of Plunkett Foundation, said: “All over the UK and Ireland, people living in rural areas are taking matters into their own hands to address some of the challenges associated with rural life.

“Whilst living in the countryside can be wonderful, it can also be a struggle for many.

“For example, young families struggling to find work nearby or to afford to live locally; older people without families close by, or those who’ve recently retired and are looking for a new direction,” he added.

Bretforton Community Shop will now compete with other finalists to be crowned the best community owned co-operative in the Midlands Region by an expert judging panel.

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in London on Monday (November 28).


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