Describe your project
Our community-run shop operates out of a pair of adapted portacabins. When we started up, funding was limited, so only basic services were put in. Over the years we have made improvements to the building but we still have no proper drains. The drainpipes discharge on to the ground around the shop. Two years ago we had to replace a 3 metre section of wall that had rotted as a result. We have a toilet for the use of staff and volunteers which empties into a tank behind the shop. The foul waste is not treated and has to be pumped out regularly. Sometimes the drain smell enters the shop. Our project is to modernise our shop building by providing rainwater drainage that meets current building regulations and a sewerage connection into the village’s main drain, which is 15 metres away from the shop.
How will your project benefit your local community?
The Community Shop is a not-for-profit business run for and by the community. We have a large team of volunteers who work for no pay. The grant will help us to provide our staff and volunteers with hygienic WC facilities. It will also facilitate us in developing café style services in the future by providing a toilet for public use. This would provide a local meeting place for our community as well as attracting walkers, cyclists and other visitors to the area. The rainwater soak-away will help look after the fabric of the building and help make sure that we can retain a shop for the benefit of our local group of villages. By installing amenities that meet the building regulations, this will help in our longer term aim of replacing the shop with a new building with full planning permission.
Please give details of any support you have from your local community
The Shop is well supported by the local Community. We have over 160 local shareholding members of our Community Benefit Society, which owns the shop. The day-to-day management of the shop is taken care of by a committee of seven unpaid volunteers. Over 30 volunteers help to keep the shop open from early in the morning until the evening, seven days a week. The shop is supported by the Parish Council and the Mary Watney Trust ( a village charitable foundation).
How big is your community? And how many people will benefit from your project?
The population of All Cannings and two adjacent villages is about 1,500. Some residents are highly dependent on the shop, either because they cannot afford the twelve mile round trip into town or because of ill-health or disability. Those who are ill receive home deliveries at no charge. We also provide training opportunities for young people.
Tell us what you intend to spend the money on.
We will spend the money on engaging a qualified contractor to install drainage systems, for both rainwater and sewerage, that comply fully with modern Building Regulations.
When and why was your project founded?
The All Cannings Community Shop Society was founded in 2002 following the closure of the last shop in the village: a family-run post office and general store. It opened a new shop in December 2005. The nearest shopping centre is six miles away and bus services are infrequent.