Thursday, July 18, 2024
Local News from North & South Tyneside

New Community Shop Opens in South Tyneside

A new community shop has been officially opened in South Shields after receiving a share of £8.8million government funding to support growth and prosperity in the Borough.

In 2022 South Tyneside Council asked organisations to submit proposals for a share of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Hospitality and Hope was one of ten organisations to receive funding which has been used to develop its network of community shops, providing healthy food at discounted prices.

Hospitality and Hope was one of ten organisations to receive funding which has been used to develop its network of community shops, providing healthy food at discounted prices.

The new shop in Fowler Street completes the third phase of Hospitality and Hope’s three-year plan of work in partnership with the Council to break the cycle of reliance on foodbanks.

Anyone living within a mile and a half radius of the shops can become a member of the community shop which will enable them to shop there once a week to buy goods at greatly discounted prices. Members pick their own items which can include basics such as cereal, milk, bread, pasta, rice, fresh fruit and vegetables and toiletries. A basket of goods worth about £20 costs only £4 at a community shop.

One of the new shop’s first members who prefers to remain anonymous said: “I can’t believe that you can get so many items of food for only £4. I picked up a box of cereal from the community shop and that alone would cost me nearly £4 in a supermarket so it’s a great idea. I work full-time so wasn’t sure that I could join but I was told it was open to everyone as most people are struggling. This will benefit so many people in this area, it is just what is needed for people who are finding it difficult at the moment.”

The community shop will be open from 9.30am to 2pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

The Fowler Street shop is the third community shop in the Borough. With others already established in Horsley Hill and Hudson Street in South Shields, they are strategically positioned within wards that have the greatest dependency on the charity’s foodbank.

Peter Maloney, Chief Executive of Hospitality and Hope, said: “Our network of shops not only help us deliver on one of our key priorities of reducing food insecurity, they provide a vital hub for wellbeing activities also. Both we believe help create and instil an increased sense of hope for a positive and self-reliant future within the communities we support.”

Councillor Paul Dean, Lead Member for the Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Equalities, added: “We know that so many people in our communities have been pushed to the brink in the cost-of-living crisis.

“While foodbanks have been a godsend for so many, we want to help people before they fall into crisis and these shops offer exactly that. Community shops offer people a helping hand by enabling them to shop with dignity and choose the items they want.  In partnership with Hospitality and Hope, this allows us to make things fairer while also providing a more sustainable, long-term solution for the future.”