The Community Shop Knottingley is now open!

Member Article

Hundreds of families set to benefit from discounted food and free training courses, as Mayor opens new Community Shop in Knottingley

Hundreds of Knottingley residents on means-tested benefits can now enjoy half-price food shopping, free skills training, and free hot meals for children, at a new store which was opened on Pontefract Road on Wednesday [December 15] by Mayor of Wakefield, Cllr Tracey Austin.

Community Shop is an award-winning social enterprise with stores across England, selling surplus food and household products from major retailers at deeply discounted prices. Community Shop aims to support those on the cusp of food poverty by offering free training courses, ranging from cookery clubs to interview skills and business programmes. On-site Community Kitchens serve at-cost hot meals to members and children eat free.

Membership is open to any local resident who receives income support and is motivated to make a positive change to their lives and over 500 local residents have already signed up. The new store is the eighth Community Shop in the network, and the first to open in West Yorkshire, creating eight new jobs in Knottingley.

One of the shop’s first customers, Jade Davis, from Broomhill in Knottingley, said it was great to see such bargains. “When I got to the till, my bill was a lot less than I thought it would be,” she said. “As a single parent who is unemployed, the difference Community Shop can make is massive. I think the kids will enjoy coming too. They’ll love having something to eat and a good look around the store.”

Natalie Brown, head of Community Shop said: “We are so pleased to have opened Community Shop Knottingley, and particularly to be expanding our offer in Yorkshire, where Community Shop began. The support we provide is focused around empowering and building stronger individuals and more confident communities, and over the past year this has been more essential than ever.”

The store has opened thanks to the support of long-standing partner, The Coalfields Regeneration Trust, the only organisation in the UK dedicated to supporting former mining towns and villages. The Trust owns the property and is providing it on a rent-free basis in order to support the work of Community Shop. This latest partnership follows the successful opening of Community Shop Athersley, near Barnsley, in 2016.

Gary Ellis, chief executive of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said: “We are very pleased to be supporting Community Shop Knottingley. Having witnessed first-hand the economic and social impact that these stores have on our communities, we know that it will make a big difference to those that need support the most.”

Significant funds have also been donated by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Ocado, Bakkavor, Wakefield Council and WDH.

Vanessa Smith, operations director at Coca-Cola Europacific Partners, Wakefield, said: “Community Shop provides such brilliant support to local communities and we’re proud to be getting behind such an important initiative right here in Wakefield.

“We have a long-standing partnership with Company Shop Group, having supported with funding and product donations over the years. These stores have a significant impact on people’s lives up and down the country, and we look forward to seeing how the space in Knottingley delivers a positive impact to the people in Wakefield in the run up to Christmas and beyond.”

The Community Shop is one of online supermarket, Ocado’s, key charitable partners. Ocado’s matched donation scheme, You Give We Give, matches the donations of its customers pound for pound, and the total is either given in goods or cash to good causes, such as the opening of new Community Shops. Earlier this year in May, a previous donation enabled the opening of a Community Shop in Liverpool, and the latest donation has helped fund Knottingley’s store too.

Jonathan Wiseman, general counsel and chief people officer at Ocado Retail said: “It’s an honour for Ocado to be able to support the opening of a second Community Shop this year. We recognise that they are an essential lifeline to many, particularly during this challenging time. Together with Ocado customers, we look forward to being able to help future Community Shops open and reach even more people in 2022.”

The Community Shop team will work closely with other social groups in Knottingley, and the store will be self-sustaining.

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Wakefield Council’s cabinet member for communities, poverty and health, said: “It is really important to us to help and support our most vulnerable residents and that’s why we are really pleased to financially support Community Shop Knottingley, to help make it a reality and impact positively on our local residents. The work Community Shop does is fantastic, and I know it will make a really big difference to people living in the area.”

Natalie Brown, head of Community Shop, added: “As always, we would not have been able to get to this position without the support of our partners. We will continue to work closely with local organisations and partners to make Community Shop Knottingley a reality, and we would encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about how to help make a positive social impact locally to get in touch.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jayne Russell .

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