Community Shop, the UK’s first social supermarket chain, is celebrating scooping two national award wins at the Social Enterprise UK awards – recognising the positive social impact it is generating for people across the country.
The pioneering social enterprise, which was founded in 2013 by the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food and household products, Company Shop, won awards in the Prove It: Social Impact and Transformative Community Business categories.
The prestigious accolades recognised Community Shop’s success in demonstrating and communicating its impact to its key partners, supporters and the wider industry, and praised the social supermarket for its achievements as an organisation that is locally rooted and trading for the benefit of the community it serves.
The awards win follow another hugely successful year for Community Shop, which has delivered nearly 10 million meals from its four stores, to support 14,000 families, in the last year alone.
Based in some of the lowest income communities in the UK, Community Shop gets good food at great prices, to the people who need it most but can afford it least. Stocked with donated surplus food and products from retailers, manufacturers and brands, the innovative social enterprise tackles the dual challenge of food waste and food poverty.
Working with most of the major retailers and many top brands, including Asda, Morrisons, The Co-operative, M&S, Tesco, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Ocado, and Muller amongst others, industry support has been significant, and continues to grow.
But it is not just access to discounted food that marks Community Shop out as a social enterprise delivering positive social impact. Members of the store also benefit from access to its ‘Community Hub’; where they can engage with professional mentors and seek support with budgeting and debt advice, skills training and participate in classes. The Community Hub Success Plan aims to provide a route back to financial independence, and towards mainstream retail.
In its latest Impact Report, which secured the Prove It: Social Impact award win, Community Shop celebrated how its personal development sessions had supported 69 members into employment, whilst 352 progressed into learning and development and 153 became Community Leaders, encouraging others in the local community to kick-start positive changes in their lives.
As well as working closely with organisations in the communities where the four stores are located – Goldthorpe, Athersley, Lambeth and Grimsby – Community Shop relies on the support and donations of surplus products from the food retail and manufacturing industry, to deliver the lasting change.
The Social Enterprise Awards brought organisations across the sector together, to recognise and celebrate business excellence and contribution to society, and highlight the achievements of people working at the heart of the sector. Community Shop’s Founder and Chairman, John Marren, Group Managing Director Jane Marren and Community Shop Director, Gary Stott, took to the stage to collect the national awards at the ceremony, which was held in the Guildhall in London.
John Marren, Chairman and Founder of Community Shop, said:
“We have always been determined to make a real difference, and through Community Shop, we are working to support stronger individuals and to build more confident communities across the UK.
“The awards are testament to the passion, commitment and hard work of all our colleagues, members, Community Leaders, supporters and of course our industry partners. Without their surplus stock we would not be able to achieve such transformative work in the communities we serve.
“We look forward to working with more partners to reach and support even more people across the country to achieve positive change in their lives.