Community Shop presented with Queen’s Award for Enterprise by HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire

17 November 2021
Community Shop presented with Queen’s Award for Enterprise by HM Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire

Community Shop, the UK’s first social supermarket chain, was officially presented with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Promoting Opportunity category yesterday by Lord-Lieutenant Professor Dame Hilary Chapman at Community Shop Athersley.

The prestigious award was presented to Community Shop – which is part of Company Shop Group – for its deep social impact in empowering local communities across the UK through an intense, sustainable support model that creates transformative change to build stronger individuals and more confident communities.

This award marks a hat-trick for Company Shop Group, which previously received royal recognition in 2019 and 2015 after winning awards in the Sustainable Development category.

To thank its members and colleagues, Community Shop held a Yorkshire-themed party at Athersley, ahead of the official presentation ceremony where Community Shop colleagues accepted the award.

Community Shop’s network of seven social supermarket stores are based within some of the UK’s most deprived communities. Powered by surplus products, it provides members with vital access to high-quality, low-cost products and delivers wrap-around support through life-changing personal development programmes that deliver real change for individuals and communities.

Membership is open to individuals and families in receipt of welfare support who are motivated to make a positive difference in their lives through life-changing personal development support programmes which help to inspire long-term aspirational change in local communities.

Over the years, Community Shop has supported more than 10,000 families and provided over 30 million low-cost healthy meals, as well as helping 701 members back into employment and 902 into further education. Community Shop has also connected with its members digitally throughout the ongoing pandemic with over 250,000 engagements through its Virtual Hub.

The award comes at a time when Community Shop is going through an ambitious period of expansion, with more stores in the pipeline to support even more communities across the country.

Steph McGinty, Group Managing Director of Company Shop Group, said: “Receiving this Queen’s Award from HM Lord-Lieutenant is truly an incredible achievement for Community Shop, and one that wouldn’t have been possible without the amazing colleagues, partners, organisations and supporters who come together to bring this innovative social enterprise to life.
“I’m delighted that we also got the opportunity to give the Lord-Lieutenant a first-hand look at how Community Shop not only provides access to low-cost food and life-changing personal development support, but events and activities that really bring people together.
“We’re still only on the start of our journey and are grateful to have such prestigious support as we look to bring Community Shop to thousands more families and individuals through the expansion of our network.”
Natalie Brown, Head of Community Shop, added: “We’re proud to have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Promoting Opportunity category. To receive royal recognition for our hard work and commitment towards improving the lives of some of the UK’s most deprived communities is an honour.
“Our brilliant teams go above and beyond to connect, engage and inspire every member who comes through our doors. It’s thanks to their hard work and determination that we’ve managed to help so many members overcome barriers and ultimately change their lives.” 
Lord-Lieutenant Professor Dame Hilary Chapman said: “I am delighted to have presented the Queen’s Award for Enterprise to Community Shop. The difference the organisation makes is truly remarkable and it was an honour to have the opportunity to visit Community Shop and see in person the fantastic positive impacts it delivers throughout local communities.
“Receiving a Queen’s Award is one of the highest accolades any business can achieve and everyone involved with Community Shop should be very proud of this achievement.”