Community Shops

Located in Horsely Hill Square (NE34 6RF), Fowler Street (NE33 1NS) and Hudson Street (NE34 0AD), our shops operate to directly support their immediate communities. Anyone living within a mile and a half of a store can access its food services, receiving a free membership upon presentation of a valid form of ID, allowing them to shop there once per week. Both our Horsely and Hudson store currently open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9.30am and 2pm. Our Fowler Street store operates during the same times, but opens on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. 

Committed to taking an evidence based and preventative approach to supporting our community out of food insecurity, this past year we’ve opened our first three community shops, supported in doing so by the Virgin Money Foundation, South Tyneside Council, Joicey Trust and Royal Warrant Holders Association.

 

Patrons pay £4 and receive over £20 worth of goods, which they can choose themselves, in accordance with the available produce at any given time. Stock is frequently rotated from week to week, and patrons are encouraged to develop budgeting and management skills; provided additional information on the retail costs of the items they choose, offered deals and special offers and encouraged to choose products which are specifically colour coded in store to provide for a varied and healthy diet.

Additionally, the Community Shops provide a dedicated space for wellbeing support in two of our locations, organising classes and activities to help foster community engagement; from learning Photography and Audio Skills to support sessions for young mothers and older residents; a chance for community residents to come together and promote positive mental health, support and encouragement in a safe space.

A survey of the first 100 customers at our Horsely Hill Square shop was used to develop the wellbeing services that best meet their needs and we are constantly looking to self-evaluate on this basis across all of our locations. Despite their relatively limited historical presence in South Tyneside, our shops have already developed at pace, particularly helping us to support those who would not normally engaged with us – specifically those both in employment and over the age of 55.

The overall aim is to create a community anchor, at which people can receive longer term food support and access to wider services. We thank and are grateful to our colleagues in Lydon’s Pharmacy, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Tesco and ASDA for their support by donating regular food supplies and essential household and personal cleaning products. Please note that the donated products from our Food Drives do not go to our Community Shop shelves.

There are ongoing discussions, in their earliest stages, to expand upon and maintain our Community Shop network.

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