14 December 2017


Ewelme Village Store crowned best in region for contribution to community

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Sarah Maine, Chairman Ewelme Store

01491 825292 /07711 111406


Ewelme Village Store has been crowned the winner of the SouthEast Award as part of the Rural Community Co-operative Awards 2017, the only national awards programme recognising community co-operation around the UK.


Ewelme Village Store is a not-for-profit community initiative, run and operated by daily managers and local volunteers. Any profits made are either re-invested in the store or the local community.

We are a friendly store, welcoming villagers, visitors, and walkers.  We are a popular stop for an increasing number of cyclists who enjoy the use of our pump, inner tubes and recently upgraded toilet facilities.  Our Tea Room offers a range of hot and cold drinks, sandwiches, bacon rolls, homemade soup and cakes.

The store sells a range of basic groceries, fresh bread, fruit and vegetables, frozen foods, and newspapers.  We have a licence to sell alcohol and stock wine, beer, cider and a limited range of spirits including our best-selling locally distilled Twisting Spirit.

The Rural Community Co-operative Awards are run by Plunkett Foundation, the national charity supporting people to set up and run community co-operatives – businesses that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people from within their local area – to help overcome issues ranging from isolation and loneliness to poverty.


‘’We are absolutely delighted to have won this award. It was been real boost to our community who take great pride in the shop and contribute in so many different ways. Thank you to everyone for your much appreciated support.’’ Sarah Maine, Chairman, Ewelme Village Store.


Ewelme Village Store competed with shortlisted entries and was crowned the best community owned co-operative in the SouthEast Region. The winners were announced at a national ceremony in London to an invited audience of over 100 special guests from around the UK.


James Alcock, General Manager at Plunkett Foundation said: “The winners of the Rural Community Co-operative Awards all represent fantastic examples of community enterprise. The award nominations clearly demonstrated community co-operatives at the top of their game; all the winners truly deserve this accolade. We wish them all every success for the future.”


As well as the award itself, Ewelme Village Store will receive a party pack from the Plunkett Foundation to help them celebrate their success with their staff, volunteers and community. The packs, sponsored by Power to Change, will be posted to groups in the new year.


Community co-operatives come in many forms: shops, pubs, bakeries, farms, community hubs, woodlands, broadband projects – the list is endless! They are a business, but trade primarily for the benefit of the local community. Like any business, a community co-operative must be profitable. Due to their focus on the local community, and investing profits back into the business or local area, they are able to succeed where other commercial ventures may fail. For example, around 400 commercial village shops close each year and in the region of 21 pub closures a week, community-owned shops and co-operative pubs not only represent a better form of business, they directly respond to some of the key challenges facing rural communities today such as lack of services and isolation.




Notes to Editors:


About the Rural Community Co-operative Awards 2017:

The Rural Community Co-operative Awards are about celebrating the most inspiring examples of people in rural areas working together to improve their communities. They are designed to help communities celebrate their own success and learn from each other, and to raise awareness about the co-operative model and community ownership to a wider audience. For more information visit the Awards website at: www.communityownershipawards.com


About Plunkett Foundation:

Plunkett Foundation (www.plunkett.co.uk) helps communities to take control of their challenges and overcome them together. We support people, predominantly in rural areas, to set up and run life-changing community co-operatives; enterprises that are owned and run democratically by large numbers of people in their community. They help people to tackle a range of issues, from isolation and loneliness to poverty, and come in many forms including shops, cafes, pubs and land-based initiatives, and everything in between.


About community co-operatives:

Community co-operatives can come in many forms: shops, pubs, bakeries, farms, community hubs, farmers’ markets, woodlands, broadband projects – the list is endless. They are businesses, but they trade primarily for the benefit of their community. They are controlled by the community, and they have open and voluntary membership, actively encouraging people to get involved by becoming members. They do this by offering shares in the co-operative, the cost of which are set at a level that the majority of people will be able to afford. Click here for more information - https://www.plunkett.co.uk/what-are-community-co-operatives