I'm reading - Community Shop welcomes HRH the Duke of Gloucester.

26.03.2019 - News

Community Shop
welcomes HRH the Duke of Gloucester.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, paid a visit to Community Shop in Athersley (Barnsley) on Tuesday, 19th March, to see the work and social impact delivered to local communities.

Part of the Company Shop Group, Community Shop is a pioneering social enterprise that is based in some of the most low-income communities across the UK. It offers food access to those who need it most, but can afford it least. Membership to the store is open to people who receive some form of welfare support and live locally. Furthermore, revenues raised from the enterprise are used to deliver professional, personal development programmes supporting members to live fulfilling lives and build stronger individuals and more confident communities.

The Duke of Gloucester is The Queen’s cousin and a full-time working member of the Royal Family. He attends national and international events in support of The Queen and her duties as Head of State, as well as undertaking extensive public duties and engagements every year reflecting his own interests and charities.


The Royal visit was hosted by the Group’s Founder and Chairman, John Marren. Other civic dignitaries on the day included Andrew Coombe (The Lord-Lieutenant of South Yorkshire) and Richard Lumley (The Earl of Scarbrough).

The Duke and dignitaries were presented with Jane Marren (Group Managing Director), Gary Stott (Director, Community Shop), Natalie Brown (Head of Community Shop) and Steph McGinty (Director of People and Communities, Community Shop). The Duke and accompanying civic dignitaries then attended a short presentation to give insight into the development programmes and the unique aspects of how members are supported.

His Royal Highness was then invited to take a seat in the café and enjoy tea and cakes baked by Community Shop Chefs and Community Leaders. Community Shop members also met with The Duke and had the opportunity to share personal experiences of the service while enjoying the refreshments prepared by the chef. All the crockery and cake stands were provided by Lucy, a Community Shop member, who is now running her own tea party business, having been on the Community Shop Success Plan and Development Programmes.

“It was a very exciting day for all of us and I’m glad I got the opportunity to show off my baking and cooking skills for our very special guest! The Duke spoke with me and he was very interested to hear about Community Shop and what it means to me to be a member.” Sarah Kelk, Community Shop Chef

The visit also involved Kate Roberts (Community Shop Impact Manager) and Gail Harrison (Community Shop Lead Mentor) sharing details about Community Shop’s development programmes and its unique success plan.

“We were absolutely delighted to have His Royal Highness visit our Community Shop in Athersley. What we do is completely different to anything else out there and receiving positive feedback from The Duke echoes how we are helping our members and local communities.

“Of course, the day would not have been complete without our famous pork pies. We invited The Duke to try some of our specially baked pork pies, which were presented in a “one-off” limited edition packaging!” John Marren, Group Founder and Chairman.