The Bassetlaw Community Shop was established in response to the cost-of-living crisis. The aim is to support the rural areas of Bassetlaw which are disproportionately affected by the increased cost of food, fuel and energy bills due to barriers such as living in a ‘food desert’ and by not being connected to the main gas grid.
Meet Kirsty the Community Shop Operator and learn more about the project.
Can you give us a run through of your day as the Community Shop Operator?
I arrive at the warehouse and fill up the van with stock so it is full for people to shop. After that I drive to the first village of the day. I spent around an hour in each village serving customers. Then it’s onto the second location. Before leaving I make a list of what has sold ready for the van to be restocked for the following day. Finally, I drive the van back to the warehouse to unload and cash up any takings for the day.
What is your favourite part of the role?
I love meeting different people and talking to them. Part of my role is to signpost them to other services if they need any extra support. You quickly build up a rapport in the different villages and you get a real sense of community spirit which is lovely to see.
How has the project been received by shop users?
The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive. From talking to people you can really tell the difference the shop has made in reducing their outgoings, especially in a cost-of-living crisis. It’s nice to know it’s having an impact.
The shop was launched in October and there are now over 450 members, with an average of 130 visiting the shop each week. There has been a decrease in emergency food parcel requests in 6 of the 9 locations the shop visits, in the six months since the Bassetlaw Community Shop has been running compared to the six months before the project was launched.
It’s important to note that the Bassetlaw Community Shop would not have been possible without the support of our funders Feeding Britain, Bassetlaw District Council, The Retford Lions, Wickes and The National Lottery’s Awards for All programme.
If you wish to sign up to become a member of the shop please click here to fill out a membership form.