Counter Culture: Building Volunteering in Community Run Shops for All Ages

Plunkett Foundation has received £20,000 from the Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, to fund an exciting new volunteering project called Counter Culture. The project will work with around 20 community-owned shops in England that want to try different ways of reaching new volunteers.

If you're involved with your local community shop and want to try new ways of reaching new volunteers, we want to hear from you. Through our project we'll work with you to develop your ideas, which will then in turn be shared with other community shops, so that they too can run more successful volunteer schemes.

Why is volunteering important for community shops? 

Community-owned shops in rural areas can struggle to find and keep the volunteers they need to help them run the shop. They are increasingly finding they need to rely on people who have recently retired to volunteer, but as people are working longer and retiring later than ever before, action must be taken to recruit a range of new volunteers to help ensure the shop stays open, especially from younger volunteers, families, and older people that need support to help out.

How can Plunkett help you?

We're looking for community shops based in England to take part in Counter Culture to both explore new ways to strengthen current volunteering activities, and to share existing approaches that are working well. We'll work closely with each community shop, supporting them to recruit more volunteers from a broader range of ages, particularly those aged 15-25 years old, families, and/or people aged over 50 who might need assistance to volunteer. 

We'll work together to develop effective ways of finding, nurturing and retaining volunteers, and these will be shared with other communities so that they, too, can run more successful volunteer programmes. 

By taking part in the project, community shops will:

  • Attend a free workshop event where you'll meet and hear from other community-owned shops, and expert volunteer organisations
  • Build a volunteer recruitment action plan with our help to recruit at least 5 new volunteers
  • Receive regular advice and support from us
  • Receive new resources and guidelines

In return, community shops will need to:

  • Commit to taking part in the project from February to August 2017
  • Help to monitor the impact of the project using our quick and easy-to-use tools
  • Attend one workshopevent, ideally two people from each shop

The application process has now closed and we will be in touch shortly with shops that applied.

Counter Culture has received £20,000 from the Postcode Community Trust, a grant-giving charity funded entirely by players of People's Postcode Lottery.