Award-winning social supermarket set to open in Wirral

20 May 2021
Award-winning social supermarket set to open in Wirral

Community Shop, a Queen’s Award-winning social enterprise, is set to open in Wirral having received planning approval from the Council and funding from Ocado’s charitable donation scheme, You Give We Give.

The store, which will be located in Manor House on Beechwood Drive (CH43 7ZU) and named Community Shop Beechwood, will provide eligible members of the local community with access to high-quality, low-cost food and household products, alongside personal development support.

Community Shop is the UK’s first social supermarket chain, currently with six stores across England, including in Halton and in Liverpool city centre which have quickly become central pillars of the community. Community Shop Beechwood will open in June, supporting an estimated 750 members, whilst bringing eight local jobs to the area.

Membership of Community Shop is open to people who live locally, receive welfare support, and are motivated to make a positive change to their lives. Members have access to heavily discounted food and products, which have predominantly been donated by major retailers and manufacturers and may otherwise have gone to waste. Shoppers can expect to access items that are on average 50% off the normal retail price, helping to stretch family budgets further.

The revenue raised from the in-store sales will be invested into the Community Hub, where members can gain access to personal development support, with sessions including everything from cook clubs and home budgeting, to interview skills and business courses. The store will also house a Community Kitchen, offering wholesome hot meals to members and their families, with kids eating for free.

The opening of the new store has been made possible with the generous support of our long-standing partner, Onward Homes, who are providing the Manor House building free of charge, and thanks to the generosity of Ocado, together with its amazing customers and who have supported its ‘You Give, We Give’ initiative, which has provided capital funding. Ocado supports a number of local communities through You Give We Give, where the company matches its customers’ donations and gives the total amount to its food bank charity partners and social enterprises such as The Community Shop. Last year alone, Ocado, together with its customers, donated a total of over £8m to good causes through this scheme.

The Community Shop team is already working closely with other local community groups in the area including Little Centre, Tranmere, Big Local, Be Wirral and Onward, as well as with the Council, as it seeks to complement the work already being delivered in the region and to generate further positive social and economic impact.

Community Shop is part of the UK’s leading surplus redistribution organisation, Company Shop Group, which runs 13 redistribution superstores, including Company Shop St Helens.

Natalie Brown, Head of Community Shop said: “We are really excited to be opening Community Shop Beechwood, especially during a period when the support we offer is more valuable than ever in helping people through challenging times. We know the store will have a really positive impact on many people locally, and it marks our long-term commitment to bring more Community Shop stores to the region.

“We are hugely grateful for the support of Onward and Ocado, as well as the local community groups who we have been working closely with, and Wirral Council. We are looking forward to now making Community Shop Beechwood a reality and would encourage anyone who would like to find out more about Community Shop and the opportunities available via both membership and external support, to get in touch.”

Jonathan Wiseman, General Counsel and Chief People Officer at Ocado Retail said: “It’s an honour for Ocado to be able to fund such a worthwhile cause as the opening of a brand new Community Shop. We’ve been working with Community Shop for a number of years now and know first-hand what a tremendous job they do within local communities. We also recognise how much of a lifeline these brilliant stores are for those who visit them and trust that the local people of Beechwood will benefit hugely after what has been a particularly challenging time.

“We’d like to thank our generous Ocado customers for without them, our You Give We Give scheme wouldn’t be what it is. The opening of a new store in Beechwood is an excellent example of what can be achieved when we work together.”

Sandy Livingstone, Executive Director of Property at Onward, said: “Onward is pleased to be able to help facilitate a new Community Shop store in the heart of another one of our communities, following on from the success of the Halton and Liverpool stores.

“Onward exists to make a positive difference in the communities we serve. This partnership with Community Shop is a great example of how we can do this not through delivering services ourselves, but by joining with others who are much better placed to make that difference.

“It is a pleasure to team up with Community Shop again in launching this new store in Beechwood, and we look forward to many years of seeing what an impact it will have in this area.”
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