We’ve seen established businesses, like Broughton Shop in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, provide a welfare fund to help residents who struggle to pay for their weekly groceries. On the last Monday of every month, the community-owned tavern Yr Heliwr in North Wales offers a “Cegin Teulu” (Family Kitchen). Families can enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal for whatever they can afford. For residents who are having trouble paying their home heating bills, the Blue Bell community bar in Stoke Ferry, Norfolk, serves as a warm gathering place. It also serves a pot of bottomless tea! The list could go on and on. Businesses like these help when it matters most.
We also know that the network itself is not immune to the financial pressures they are enduring. Our supporters and funders continue to support our community business services, and I am deeply grateful for their support. Whether long-standing supporters, funders involved with time-limited programmes, agencies or organisations that have contracted with us to assist businesses, or volunteers that have supported our fundraising efforts, we appreciate your help now more than ever.
At Plunkett we passionately believe that community-ownership has huge potential to create innovative, inclusive and impactful spaces the length and breadth of the UK. It’s why we advocate for a supportive environment to nurture new groups, through our policy and research activity. It is also why we’re excited to work with new partners, such as a range of house builders, to proactively promote this form of business in new communities, as well as in places seeking to safeguard services that are under threat or that have been lost to closures.