Residents in the Oxfordshire village of Islip celebrated 15 years of running a successful community-owned shop on 14 October 2015.

The community shop has been operating since 2000 and is run entirely by volunteers. Local villagers, volunteers and supporters of the shop over the years celebrated the milestone with locally made cake and celebrations throughout the day. Local media including the Oxford Mail and That’s Oxford television channel also attended the day.

As an enterprise with the village at its heart, each year the shop gives money back to other community projects through its Charitable Fund. This year, donations were made to five local recipients:

The Youth Club, run by St Nicholas Church in Islip to pay for a Youth Leader.
The Islip Cricket Club to subsidise fees and cricket equipment for young players.
Islip Thursday Club, a social club for the over 60s, for a contribution towards its annual outing and to cover speaker costs.
Noke Playing Field Trust to help purchase a new sign for their new playing field and playground.
Otmoor Archaeological and Historical Society as a contribution towards the ongoing hire of the village hall as their meeting space.

Islip Village Shop opened in October 2000 after the closure of the last, long-standing existing village shop in June of that year. Trading from what was to be a cloakroom in the village hall, the demand for the shop’s services was so great that it was extended in 2005 and again in early 2015. It now has its own entrance and a combined stockroom/office. Plans are in progress to improve the outside of the entrance to give cover and levelling.

Maralynn Smith, the shop’s manager, said: “We source a wide range of high quality locally produced food and drinks and provide basic grocery products at a reasonable price. Over the years the shop has become a real community hub. We continue to look to ways of moving forward.”

Islip Village Shop has received a range of support from various sources including Oxfordshire Rural Community Council and Plunkett, through our support project funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.

James Alcock, Head of Frontline for Plunkett, said: “It’s fantastic to see Islip Village Shop continue to go from strength to strength and celebrate this landmark birthday. Community shops like Islip rely on the hard work and dedication of local people and it’s great to see their success being shared with other local projects. Well done to all involved!”

Islip Village Shop is one of 18 community shops in Oxfordshire and 333 across the whole of the UK. Nationally they provide services to over 1,000 rural communities and provide over 16,500 vulnerable residents with access to essential services that would not otherwise exist.

Watch Islip Village Shop on That's Oxford TV: