Volunteers at an Emergency Shop in Brent Knoll are this week celebrating a triple-dose of good news.
They have discovered that their plan for creating a permanent community shop has been boosted by becoming registered as a ‘Community Benefit Society’ with the Financial Conduct Authority.
This news comes after a successful visit to the shop by local MP, James Heappey, who had led an online opening ceremony for the store earlier in the year.
On Saturday, their shop’s frontage hosted a speciality coffee and cakes event which saw more than 70 people enjoying a socially-distanced get-together, raising £180 towards the project to permanently create a community shop in Brent Knoll.
David Sturgess, a member of the shop’s Steering Group, said: “This has been a great weekend for our aim of delivering what our community consultation project revealed – the wish for a permanent community shop and the potential to restore our closed Post Office.”
“We could not have achieved the opening of an emergency shop within ten days, nor the success of that shop, without the tireless input of our team of energetic volunteers. We’ve now consulted the community on what they want, so we’ll be looking at increasing our opening hours.”
The Brent Knoll Emergency Shop project has also won the support of the Plunkett Foundation, a national charity that has helped more than 300 rural community shops to thrive. “We’re now working with Plunkett towards our aim of a permanent community shop and a restoration of our village Post Office,” added David.
Talking to Burnham-On-Sea.com, MP James Heappey added: “I visited and saw some of what they’ve been doing. It’s an amazing example of a local community seeing a problem – they didn’t have a shop – and then making one.”
“Hopefully, the emergency shop now becomes a permanent shop.”
“There has been extraordinary voluntary ‘horse power’ there, which has become a real focal point for the community. What a great initiative.”