The store will be the eleventh in Community Shop’s network of social supermarkets which are based within some of the UK’s most deprived communities, and is opening thanks to the support of Warrington Borough Council and long-standing partner Ocado. It will be based in the Bewsey Park Pavillion.
Community Shop will sell products which are perfectly good to eat or use that have been donated by major retailers, brands and manufacturers after being deemed ‘surplus’ for reasons such as incorrect labelling or seasonal packaging, meaning they may otherwise have gone to waste.
Revenue raised in the store will be re-invested back into the local area through the store’s Community Hub, which will offer personal development programmes tailored to the needs of each member, offering a hand up and not a hand-out. These unique programmes, which offer a mix of skills training and personal mentoring, have supported tens of thousands of people over the last 10 years and so far this year, over 19,000 members have accessed this support to develop a great life plan for a strong future.
The store will also house a Community Kitchen, offering low-cost wholesome hot meals, with children eating for free every day. “We’re incredibly excited to be bringing Community Shop to the Bewsey area of Warrington. With the cost of living continuing to rise, this store will make an enormous difference to those who may be struggling to put food on the table.
“However, the store’s impact will go far beyond just deeply discounted food. By providing life-changing development programmes, this new Community Shop will equip individuals and the local community with the skills and knowledge needed to create long-term aspirational change.” Gary Stott, Executive Chairman of Community Shop.
In 2021, Community Shop helped its members collectively save more than £7.5m on their shopping and redistributed the equivalent of 2.95m meals through its stores. “We’re proud to be supporting the opening of another Community Shop – the fourth store that Ocado has funded. We look forward to continuing to work with Community Shop as it provides an invaluable service to so many up and down the country.” Jonathan Wiseman, General Counsel and Chief People Officer at Ocado Retail.
“The cost-of-living crisis is causing real hardship and anxiety for many Warrington residents and is likely to affect people’s health and wellbeing. The new Community Shop at Bewsey will provide a helpful way for people to purchase good quality products at a discounted cost, while enabling them to access practical, tailored support to help them to live as well as possible during these challenging times.” Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member children’s services, Cllr Sarah Hall. The store will operate on a free membership basis and be open to anyone who lives locally and receives welfare support, are on a low income or are referred to Community Shop by a partner organisation.