Customers and volunteers at Brent Knoll’s ’emergency shop’ were interviewed on Monday (13th July) by a reporter from BBC Radio 4’s “The World Tonight” programme for a feature on how communities are coping with Covid-19.
The BBC was responding to a national report by the Plunkett Foundation, which has supported more than 300 village community shops, and the Co-Op: Their “Ripple Effect” report, whcih highlights the Brent Knoll ’emergency shop’ as a case study.
BBC reporter Paul Moss spent almost several hours interviewing volunteers and customers at the shop to learn why and how a community shop can thrive after the previous commercial shop closed in the village.
“The answer is simple,” says David Sturgess, a member of the shop venture’s Steering Group. “As a community shop, we have more than 30 unpaid volunteers who devote their time to helping run the shop.”
“We do need to make a profit to remain viable, but we do not need to make a living from that profit.”
“We have also had superb support from our volunteers, from our community customers, from our Parish Council, from the owner of the shop premises, and from the Plunkett Foundation.”
The latest community consultation survey has resulted in the Brent Knoll “Emergency Shop” extending its opening hours (9am to 12 noon from Monday to Friday, and special hours for Saturdays: “coffee-stop” and shop open from 9am to 12 noon – then shop re-open from 2 to 4.30pm).
“We’re now making progress towards our aim of delivering a permanent Community Shop, with the potential to re-open a Post Office.”