Community Shop to open new store in Leicester

17 February 2022
Community Shop to open new store in Leicester

Community Shop, the award-winning social enterprise operating eight social supermarkets across England, is set to open a new store in Leicester which will benefit hundreds of local people on the cusp of food poverty.

The new store will open in April at the former youth centre on Marwood Road, and has been supported by Leicester City Council, who provided the building and additional funding, as well as long-term partner, Ocado, the online supermarket, which has provided funding for the new store. Leicester-based food manufacturer, Samworth Brothers, has also provided significant stock for the new store.

Community Shop Leicester will provide around 750 members from the local community with access to high-quality, deeply discounted surplus food and household products and give wrap-around support through its life-changing personal development programmes that deliver real change for individuals and communities.

As part of the redevelopment, the new Community Shop will also provide a multi-purpose community space for local people and organisations to hire and use. In addition, Community Shop delivers a wide range of programmes and activities throughout the year aimed at bringing the community together and helping people learn new skills.

Community Shop membership is free and is open to people who live locally, receive welfare support, and are motivated to make a positive change to their lives.

All items sold in Community Shop are perfectly good to eat or use and have been mostly donated by major retailers and manufacturers after being deemed as “surplus” for reasons such as incorrect or wonky labelling, seasonal packaging or overstock. These products otherwise may have gone to waste.

Revenue raised from the in-store sales is re-invested into the Community Hub, where members can access personal development support, with sessions including everything from cookery clubs and home budgeting, to interview skills and business courses. The store will also house a Community Kitchen that offers at-cost wholesome hot meals to members and their families, with children eating for free.

The store will create around eight new jobs for the local area, with the new Community Shop team working closely with the city council and other local community groups as it seeks to complement the work already being delivered in the region and generate further positive social and economic impact.

Natalie Brown, Head of Community Shop said: “We’re delighted to be bringing Community Shop to the Stocking Farm area of Leicester. We know from our other eight stores across the UK that the support Community Shop provides makes a tremendous difference to the lives of local people and are excited to see the long-lasting impact this store will have on the community come April.

“This store wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of our partners, especially Leicester City Council, Ocado and Samworth Brothers. By working together, we can make an even more significant impact on communities, which is why we encourage anyone interested in learning more about how to help make a positive social impact to get in touch.”

City Mayor Peter Soulsby said: “I am really pleased that we have been able to work with Community Shop to help bring their first store to Leicester. By breathing new life into a long-underused building, it will provide a valuable new facility for people of all ages in Stocking Farm and be of huge benefit to the local community. This is just one important part of the exciting plans being developed for the future regeneration of Stocking Farm.”

Jonathan Wiseman, General Counsel and Chief People Officer at Ocado Retail said: “We’re delighted that Ocado, together with our customers, have helped fund the opening of three new community shops in the past year. Community Shop is a fantastic social enterprise that makes a real difference in local communities. We know that the Leicester shop will be another success and we look forward to providing further support in the form of surplus food and funds throughout the year.”

The Leicester store marks the third Community Shop that Ocado has funded. The online retailer’s ‘You Give We Give’ initiative, means that the company matches any donation made by customers, pound for pound. The total fund, as well as surplus food, is then distributed to key charity partners, of which Community Shop is one. Since December 2020, Ocado has donated over £8m to good causes through the scheme.

Community Shop is part of the UK’s leading surplus redistribution organisation, Company Shop Group, which runs 15 redistribution superstores including Company Shop Leicester on Leicester Business Park.
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