There has been a strong tradition of community life in Avebury which came under serious threat following closure of the school (December 2007), local shop and Post Office (April 2008).
The closure of the shop brought real hardship to some and inconvenienced many with the nearest food shops being a 12 mile round trip. The closure also affected many of the 250,000 visitors to the World Heritage Site. To address this, local residents decided to hold a public meeting in June 2008 to ascertain support for a community shop. The meeting was well attended by over 50 local residents, with the great majority volunteering support and assistance. A small number of people formed the Steering Group that lead the project through to shop opening. The shop opened in March 2009. Once the shop was up and running, responsibility was passed to a Management Group elected via a Special Meeting of shareholders.
Thank you to the National Trust for providing us with Hope Cottage and for maintaining the property for us so well. The National Trust provides us with the building at a very low rent in recognition of the valuable service we provide to the local community.
Thank you to all our sponsors who provided the initial finance to open the shop and ongoing support. We obtained grant funding from the following:-
North Wessex Downs AONB
Wiltshire Council (for replacement of our till system)
The Shop is now run by a Management Committee who are elected by shareholders. There is a paid manager, but all the rest of the staff are volunteers.
All our surplus profits go to charity, and we try to use as many local suppliers are possible.
We always consult widely on our future proposals. We will always listen to the village voice – after all this is your shop!
Culture: As a community shop we will try to make sure that we use resources wisely and waste as little as we can;
Improvement: We must be pragmatic in what we try to achieve but we will always look to do better than we’ve done before;
Accountability: We will report on our environmental achievements and our annual performance at the AGM to our shareholders and the village community.