Following the threat of closure of our village shop, the parish of Hawkesbury came together at the beginning of 2016 to decide what to do.
The shop had previously been registered as a community asset, so there was a six month moratorium on the sale of the property. In this time, the community agreed to try and raise the funds to buy the shop property and open a community-owned store. We called the campaign Save Our Shop – or SOS.
A survey of the parish gathered views on the products and services that our shop should offer, and collected pledges of financial and volunteer support.
Over half of Hawkesbury households (and a few from further afield) made a financial contribution to the project – ranging from £50 (one share) to £12,000. We raised over £160,000 in total.
Purchase of the property was completed on the closing day of the previous village shop, and Hawkesbury Stores – our community-owned business – opened its doors the following day, Saturday 25 June 2016.
Hawkesbury proved that strong communities can do amazing things. We harnessed the expertise, passion and determination of local volunteers, and in six months’ of hard work we secured a vital village asset for our 500 households, and a lifeline of supplies and social interaction for our elderly residents.