Published: Wed 15th September, 2021
Local groups from the voluntary, community and charities sector recently joined a number of health, education and employment support organisations at an event to find out more about Your Store.
The social supermarket is being created by a partnership involving Charnwood Borough Council, John Storer Charnwood, The Bridge and Charnwood Food Poverty Group.
The project aims to support people who are eligible and may currently be using foodbanks transition to more independence by becoming a Your Store member.
Members will be able to do a weekly shop and access a range of affordable food for £3. There will also be a range of support available through the project including money management, mental health and wellbeing, education, cooking classes and household budgeting.
The event took place at John Storer House in Loughborough where Your Store is based and provided attendees with an opportunity to understand how Your Store and its membership will operate.
People were also able to ask questions, visit the store as well as consider how they could get involved by offering support to Your Store members and how to refer their own clients to it.
Prospective members are currently being identified by the Charnwood Food Poverty Group and the store is hoping to open its doors to its first customers later this month.
Your Store has been created following the successful work carried out by Charnwood Community Action during the pandemic when hundreds of families received vital food parcels and other support.
Cllr Leigh Harper-Davies, the Council’s lead member for community support and equalities said: “It was great to see so many different organisations come along to this event to find out more about Your Store.
“Your Store is the result of fantastic partnership working and I would like to thank everyone for coming along and showing their interest and enthusiasm for the project.
“Your Store will provide an additional layer of support to help people who have needed to use food banks before and during the pandemic to become more independent with their shopping.
“The Council is proud to be working alongside partners on this project and is committed to creating healthy communities. Your Store is an innovative project which really will help a number of people become more independent and access additional support.”
Karen Frostick, John Storer Charnwood director, said: “It is great to see so many partners and referral agents enthusiastic about the project, we cannot wait to get the shop open and vital support being made available to all those that need it.”
Paul Snape, deputy chief officer at The Bridge East Midlands said: “As strategic lead for Charnwood Food Poverty Group, we are delighted that Your Store has been developed and is the natural progression for our clients who are moving away from food bank use. Your Store will offer an inclusive service to those who may be struggling financially and need additional support.”
The store in Loughborough is a pilot scheme for a year and it is hoped Your Store will become self-sustaining over time through income from members shopping there, sponsorship and donations.
Alongside the shop at John Storer House there are plans for a number of weekly pop-up versions across the borough. Mountsorrel will be the first pop-up Your Store, which is being supported by Mountsorrel United Charities Relief in Need Fund.
Your Store is aiming to help around 300 households during the pilot project.
For more information about Your Store please visit: www.charnwood.gov.uk/yourstore