Fittleworth Community Shop, Café
and Post Office
Please visit the shop’s own website at fittleworthstores.co.uk
Due to the global Coronavirus pandemic our normal opening hours and services have changed:-
Reduced Opening Hours
From Saturday 21 March our revised opening hours for the shop and post office will be as follows:
Monday – Saturday: 9.30am – 1.30pm
Note: Open on just Sunday 22nd March 09.00-10.30 – for newspapers and basics only
Temporary Café Closure
Our café will be closed from Saturday 21st March. Takeaway coffee, takeaway sandwiches and takeaway cakes and pastries will still be available however
Home Delivery Service
As mentioned in our earlier post today, we will be launching an expanded home delivery service shortly. More information to follow.
Whilst we appreciate that the reduced opening hours for the shop and post office and temporary closure of our café will be a disappointment, these steps are necessary to ensure that we can continue to provide a service to the village during these difficult times. Thanks to all our customers and volunteers for all the offers of help and support- we will all need to work together in the months ahead.
VOLUNTEERING – during the Coronavirus pandemic please go to the Stores own website to see how you can best help.
We need volunteers (lots of them) to be able to run the shop and café successfully. We already have 40 or so on our volunteers rota – but we always need more! Volunteers will support our paid manager (Toni) and assistant manager (Donna) and will not be left on their own. Volunteering should be fun and not onerous – we are looking for people to sign up to a commitment of 2 hours per week (although if you want to do more, then that’s great too). If you find you can’t make your shift because of other commitments then don’t worry – we will find someone to replace you. We will provide full training.
The following document sets out some more information about volunteering.
The following documents show how our Stores have developed – for up to date information please go to the Store’s own website – address above.
If you would like to volunteer, please get in touch with us by completing the form below. We would love to hear from you.
OUR FIRST AGM
We had a wonderful turn out for our first AGM of Fittleworth Community Shop Limited. Thanks to all who came. We had some useful discussions around volunteering, the possibility of including a post office local and our funding.
If you missed the AGM then you can still find out about all you missed from the Chair’s Report and Presentation Slides below. Also appearing below are our financial accounts for our first accounting period (2016/2017) and our membership strategy – which describes how we will look to increase our shareholding community and keep our shareholders informed about, and actively involved in, the shop.
Agenda and Minutes
AGM Presentation Slides
Accounts and Annual Return
The shop, playground and youth area projects are significant ones which will deliver valuable and long lasting facilities to our community. The funds we had to raise were considerable – the combined projects have an estimated cost of £403,000.
We prepared a detailed Funding Plan which identified 4 sources of funding:
- Community Share Offer – we raised an incredible £41,400 from the initial share offer. You can still buy shares if you missed out – details below
- Grants – we have received grants of over £145,000. We are very grateful to all of our grant funders (West Sussex County Council Leader fund (£75,000), South Downs National Park Authority (£10,000), Chichester District Council (£15,000 for the shop and £8,000 for the playground), the National Lottery Awards for All (£10,000 for the playground and £10,000 for the shop) ,West Sussex Members Big Society Fund (£12,500), WSCC (£1500), Tesco for the playground (£1,000) and £3,437 from the Sussex Community Foundation).
- Donations – we are very fortunate to be supported by our community and to date we have received a staggering amount of donations. We have received £208,750 from local businesses and individuals. We are so grateful to our donors for supporting the project – the project would not be able to proceed in its current form if it were not for their support. We have also been offered some wood for the build from the Barlavington Estate which we have used for the external cladding of the building, the porch structure, internal roof beams and sleepers which form the retaining walls in the playground
- Fundraising – again we have exceeded our target we set of £3,000. We have raised just over £5,600 from events held – £150 from our Nature Trail and Scavenger Hunt, £450 from the S Party, £125 from the Bingo Night, £600 from the Live Music Night, £725 from the Harvest Supper, just over £3,000 from the Race Night, £155 from the Zumba fundraising class and £420 from our local produce raffle. A very genuine thank you to all of those who have attended these events and to the small army who have helped organise and run them.
We have now raised all of the £403,000 required for the shop, playground and youth area projects. Thank you so much to all who have contributed to the project – whether it’s from buying a share, attending a fundraising event or making a donation. We truly value your support!
The community share offer last year was an important part of our fundraising strategy raising an impressive £41,400 towards the costs of the project (far exceeding the £25,000 target we set). There are over 250 shareholders in the shop. Our shareholders are part owners of the business and will have a say in the running of the shop. Funds raised from the share offer will be used towards the build and fit out of the shop and towards initial stock and working capital.
Did you miss out on the initial share offer? Are you new to the village? We are now offering shares for purchase again. All proceeds from share sales will go towards the costs of building, equipping and stocking the shop and, once open, towards ongoing running costs. Please have a read of the information pack -the application form for shares appears at the end of the pack.
WHY DO WE NEED A SHOP?
At the beginning of 2016 a working party of the Parish Council was tasked with investigating whether Fittleworth would benefit from a village shop. It was felt that a shop would be a great asset to the village. As well as being somewhere to buy goods and local produce it would serve as an important social hub for the village. For those without access to transport a shop would be particularly useful. In addition, it would enable us to provide other valuable services, such as local post office services.
A survey was distributed to approximately 450 households within the parish and more widely to parents of the school and users of the sports and social club. The purpose of the survey was to see if there was sufficient support for a community owned shop and café within the village and to find out which goods and services residents would like the shop to offer. 82% of respondents within the parish thought that such a shop was either important or very important to the village and there were many who were prepared to volunteer to work in the shop and/or who would consider donating or buying shares in the shop.
The working party concluded that with such strong support for a shop and café the project should move forward. The results of the survey have been circulated within the parish (and appear below, together with a slide presentation showing the full results of the survey).
To enable the shop and café to be owned and run by the community for the community a Community Benefit Society (CBS) has been set up, called Fittleworth Community Shop Ltd. The Management Committee of the CBS are a mix of Parish Councillors and other residents of the parish, although it should be noted that the CBS is its own entity and is now independent of the Parish Council. People in the community will be able to buy shares in the CBS through a share offer. Shareholders will vote on its future direction and key decisions and there will be a Management Committee elected by the shareholders.
The rules of the Community Benefit Society can be viewed through the following link:
OUR MONTHLY EMAIL NEWSLETTERS
As there is so much to keep you informed about we produce a monthly newsletter to keep everyone fully informed. Although the parish magazine also includes monthly updates on the project the newsletter provides a greater level of detail. So if you are interested in progress on the project and aren’t currently on our mailing list for the newsletter please email email@example.com and we will add you.
Each month’s newsletter can be accessed through the links below.
February 2017 – http://eepurl.com/cDOQpT
April 2018 –
June 2018 – https://mailchi.mp/ff34db036603/fittleworthstoresmonthlynewsletter-456105
July 2018 – https://mailchi.mp/f50ead0c89be/fittleworthstoresmonthlynewsletter-466509
August 2018 – https://mailchi.mp/47b78bb6d1dc/fittleworthstoresmonthlynewsletter-477629
We have prepared a Business Plan for our community shop and café. This has supported many of our grant applications and has been prepared following research and extensive dialogue with other community shops and cafés.
We are always delighted when the shop gets a mention in the press. Read all about the shop in the following articles in the West Sussex County Times.
We have also recently featured in the Petworth Pages.
Chichester District Council have issued a press release about their support of our project. You can read it here:
If you have any questions or would like to know anything further about the project, please do get in contact:
Alison Welterveden firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865650
Mick Foote email@example.com 01798 865156
Catherine Guyler firstname.lastname@example.org 07780 686737
Sammi Leese email@example.com 01798 865106
Shelagh Morgan firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865036
Sally Tanner email@example.com 01798 865175
Katy Warner firstname.lastname@example.org 01798 865580