People from across the local community attended the official opening yesterday, Tuesday 18 April, to see the high-quality food and household products on offer at deeply discounted prices, as well as to sample a delicious free breakfast.
The unique social supermarket, located at Bewsey Park Pavilion, Troutbeck Avenue (WA5 0BA), sells products that are perfectly good to eat or use that have been donated by major retailers, brands and manufacturers after being deemed surplus for reasons like wonky labelling or seasonal packaging. These products otherwise might have gone to waste.
The shop operates on a free membership basis and is open to anyone living nearby who receives welfare support, is on a low income, or is referred to Community Shop by a partner organisation. Members are also encouraged to access the learning programmes available through the store’s Community Hub.
All revenue raised in the store will be reinvested into the local area through the Community Hub, where members can access a range of personal development support, with sessions including cookery clubs, interview skills support, business courses, and more.
There is also a Community Kitchen serving delicious low-cost meals, with kids eating free every day.
Community Shop Bewsey has opened thanks to the support of long-standing partner, Ocado, who have provided funding to convert the building, which has been provided by Warrington Borough Council to support the aims of the Central 6 masterplan.
At the opening of the store, Community Shop also launched its latest annual Impact Report, which highlights the significant social value that has been delivered across its stores. In 2022, Community Shop supported more than 28,000 households, with 92% of people saying that their quality of life had improved, and 96% stating that their sense of community has increased since becoming a member.
Gary Stott, Executive Chairman of Community Shop, said: “We’re delighted to have opened the doors to our new Community Shop and welcome all our new members and partners inside.
“This new store will give a hand up to those finding things tough during these financially challenging times by taking away some of the stress of putting food on the table and enabling people to focus on becoming the best version of themselves through our life-changing development programmes.
“Our annual Impact Report shows how Community Shop uses surplus food to create significant value for people and for local communities, and I am very excited to see our new Bewsey store deliver positive impact for this community for many years to come.”
Warrington Borough Council’s cabinet member for children’s services, Cllr Sarah Hall, said: “It’s fantastic to see the new Community Shop open its doors in Bewsey. The shop provides a helpful way for people to purchase good quality products at a discounted cost, while enabling them to access practical, tailored support to help them to live as well as possible during these challenging times.
“The cost of living crisis is causing real hardship and anxiety for many Warrington residents and is likely to affect people’s health and wellbeing, so it’s by working in partnership to deliver initiatives like this that will have a real, positive impact on people’s lives.
“Alongside projects like this, our online directory is available to give residents access to as much help as possible with the cost of living. I would urge anyone struggling or feeling anxious to visit the cost of living support page to see what support is available.”
To find out more about Community Shop, and apply for membership, visit Community Shop's website. The shop is open Monday to Friday, 10am-6pm and Saturday, 10am-4pm.