Plunkett provides a range of information, advice and support to communities looking to develop a community-owned shop alongside support to new and existing community shops. Below is a summary of the support that is available.
An online network - www.communityshops.coop
This is a dedicated community shop website, and enables those involved with community shops to network with each other and share best practice. The site hosts a wide range of information, news, advice, case studies, forum, and issues a fortnightly newsletter containing information relevant to community shops. Becoming a registered user of the site (which is free) enables members to access more information and materials, and receive the newsletter - there are currently over 500 community shop registered users.
A series of advice sheets
The advice sheets are an essential manual for all community shops - they guide a community through all the steps and stages required to set up a new community shop, through to supporting established shops to develop and grow. The advice sheets are linked to a resource bank with relevant tools, templates, case studies and toolkits.
Telephone and email support from the Plunkett Foundation
We are able to provide advice over the phone for any community shop related query from start-up advice, to sourcing stock, and employing staff. We won't always have the answers, but we will normally either know another shop who will, or be able to signpost you in the right direction. Call Hannah Barrett on 01993 810730 or email email@example.com
A national network of Community Advisers
Plunkett Foundation employs 5 advisers who support the work of Plunkett locally. Community Advisers can visit your community group or community shop in person to provide advice and guidance. They can also attend or help to facilitate a public meeting or committee meeting. Advisers can be contacted via the Plunkett Foundation – 01993 810730
A wide range of consultancy support
In addition to Community Advisers, Plunkett works with a wide range of consultants who can support the development of community-owned shops in a variety of ways. We can offer free business support on all areas such as marketing, merchandising, business planning, financial management, and growing your business. We can put community groups and shops in touch with other relevant shops, and fund the cost of Mentoring between one community shop and another. We can also organise and fund visits to another community shop to learn from their area of best practice. Applications for FREE support can be made via Hannah Barrett - firstname.lastname@example.org on 01993 810730.
Membership scheme for community shops
Plunkett offers corporate membership to community shops providing a comprehensive benefits package including access to recommended suppliers of products and services along with preferred terms and rates. Membership to Plunkett provides additional advisory support and information from the Plunkett Foundation, together with an opportunity to shape its future activities and services. Membership is suitable for communities setting up a shop, as well as established shops and will provide significant time and cost savings on services such as electricity, insurance, telecoms, and debit/credit card service providers. Contact Harriet English on 01993 810370 for further information or visit the membership page.
Template Legal Structure
The majority of community shops (65%) register their business as an Industrial and Provident Society for the benefit of the community. The Plunkett Foundation have Model Rules for this legal structure and can register your business with the FSA. This is a truly democratic form of structure which enables each member one vote. For more information, contact Donna Smith on 01993 810730 or email@example.com
Community Shares are an effective means of raising investment for any new or established community shop using an Industrial and Provident Society legal structure. The Plunkett Foundation is one of only four sponsoring bodies to have appropriate Model Rules to undertake a Community Share Issue. We can provide guidance and support to communities to undertake a Community Share issue. For more information, contact Donna Smith on 01993 810730 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Funding for new community shops
The Plunkett Foundation manages various funding programmes to help communities raise the money they need for their community shop. Contact Hannah Barrett (email@example.com) or Donna Smith (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information, or call us on 01993 810730.
Press and media advice for community-owned shops
We can help you generate media interest in your shop by publicising your events and by advising you on how best to manage them. We can also help by writing or proof-reading press releases, identifying target media and ensuring journalists’ attendance. If you’d like to take advantage of the PR support available, please contact Katherine Darling on 01993 814382 or email email@example.com
A dedicated Local Food Adviser and Point of Sale Materials
A range of practical advice and guides is available to help community shops identify, stock and sell more local food and drink. This also includes point of sale materials to use in-store. Some shops have seen local food sales increase by over 30%. For more information email Nicole Hamilton at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.makinglocalfoodwork.co.uk/about/cslf/index.cfm
A UK-wide Community Shop Directory www.communityshops.coop
The online Community Shop Network hosts a directory of community owned shops which enables shops to contact shops. It is also a useful tool for promoting shops to local people and businesses being near the top of a Google search. Shops can be viewed on a map, alphabetical shop listing, or by using the search field criteria – e.g. you can search for all shops with a post office, or all shops within a particular county. Shops can update their own shop profile, or we will happily do it on their behalf
If you would like to know more please contact the Frontline Team on 01993 810730 or email@example.com