Holne Community Shop & Tea Room: Saving a community hub

When the shop and tearoom faced closure, the community united to save what was an important social hub. It is now run for the benefit of the wider community and a Charity Bank loan help the social enterprise buy the premises.

Social Problem

Community shops play a vital role in the social and economic life of communities. They provide a way for the community to keep an eye out for vulnerable residents and can reduce social isolation.

Solution

Holne Community Shop & Tea Room is owned by the community, for the community and provides not only services but a valuable place for social interaction.

Loan

When the former landlord of the local shop was moving away from the area, he wanted to sell the premises. This risked losing a vital community asset, so the residents rallied. The charity managed to raise the bulk of the money from selling community shares but required some extra funding, so the social enterprise turned to Charity Bank. A loan of £75,000 from Charity Bank assisted with the purchase of its premises.

Impact

The shop is entirely run by volunteers; the eldest is 95 and loves coming in for a few hours a week to chat to people. The tearoom has a mixture of volunteers and paid employees. This includes offering employment and volunteer opportunities to young people.

  • 12,000 volunteer hours go into running the shop and tearoom each year
  • 32 local young people have so far been given paid employment in the tearoom

“We would never have been able to make this a reality without the support of Charity Bank and its savers. In a rural area like ours, it’s so important to have a place like this for people to come and socialise. The shop and tearoom are at the heart of our community now.”

Gilly Simpson, Secretary at Holne Community Shop & Tea Room
Holne Community Volunteers