The St Breward Community Shop is off to a flying start with more than £9,000 raised so far.

The recently formed Community Shop Steering Group held very successful events on Tuesday, July 18, and Thursday, July 20, to meet with forthcoming volunteers, fundraisers, those offering professional services, and potential financial contributors. More than 75 people attended the events, with more than 30 offering to volunteer in various capacities and £4,200 received at the events – bringing the total raised to over £9,000.

Offers of support and financial pledges were initially received via a community consultation questionnaire, which was hand-delivered to all households in St Breward. This highlighted 98% in-favour of a community shop, prompting the events. The questionnaire’s success was followed-up with approaches gaining initial grants from St Breward Parish Council (£3,000) and Cornwall Council (£240). Plus now, a substantial match-funding loan of £3,000 from Monster Display, Graphics & Signs (Andy Thatcher, pictured); Andy has also kindly helped with free professional production of a shop logo. The Steering Group estimate that they need to raise over £25,000, with a substantial portion of this needed now to make their temporary premises suitable, so will be forming a fundraising team. Between these groups they will directly approach other local organisations and businesses, as well explore larger grant funding applications and hold fundraising events.

St Breward Stores & Post Office unfortunately closed at the end of June 2023, due to the financial impact of running a local convenience shop whilst competing with supermarkets, online deliveries and increasing product and running costs. The community initially came together at an extraordinary Parish Council meeting at the beginning of May 2023, resulting in the formation of the Steering Group. The Steering Group is taking forward the initial set-up of the Community Benefit Society, with the support of Plunkett Foundation. The community shop approach has already proven to work in neighbouring villages of Blisland, St Tudy and St Mabyn.

Can anyone help? Get in touch with steering group secretary, Dee Fry, [email protected]