Bledington Community Shop - February Update

Bledington Community Shop – February Update

Will 2017 be the year we realise our ambition of getting the Bledington Community Shop and Café open?

What you can do to help bring this about

1. Landscape and plant the site

Come to the shop site on Saturday January 28 at 10 am with tools and enthusiasm for a couple of hours. Join other members and villagers to improve the appearance of the shop site, and to identify and talk about ideas for landscaping and planting. This is something we can make progress on in the here and now!

2. Dance your socks off

Get out your dancing shoes and put down some moves at the Hootenanny on Friday February 3 in the Village Hall. Our first fundraising event of the New Year is a evening of music and dancing starting at 7.30pm to the '16 Strings' Band—a full 6-piece group including a caller. Tickets are £15.00 each, and include a first drink and a delicious buffet. There will be a licensed bar! Come for a fun evening in support of the Community Shop and Café. Reserve your tickets today from Rebecca Allen 07850 830912 or email Rebecca at Rebecca@rcfree.me

3. Sign Up Today

Support the new membership drive. Bledington Community Shop and Café will be quite different from the old village shop that closed in 2006—not only be a place for purchases, services, and snacks, but also a meeting point where you can meet your neighbours and friends for a chat and to catch up with village events. If you are not already a member, now is the time! If your neighbours are not yet members, encourage them to get involved. If you are a relative newcomer to Bledington, sign up, join your 257 neighbours, and help show potential funders you are part of this community venture. If you are not yet a member, please sign up today. Contact Michael or Robin McCulloch on 658941 or at rlmcculloch@btinternet.com.

4. Share Expertise and Enthusiasm

Will you join the Management Committee? There is currently a vacancy and we are looking for interested people who can bring enthusiasm, expertise or new ideas. If you want to discuss, please contact Michael or Robin McCulloch on 658941 or at rlmcculloch@btinternet.com.

5. What is your Management Committee doing?

Continuing to seek more external funds to help launch the shop.

Disappointing: our application to the Prince’s Countryside Trust was unsuccessful. 115 applications were received, we were among 28 shortlisted, but not one of 19 approved. The Committee is exploring whether it’s worth applying again in the next round.
Good news: We are through to the second and final stage of the LEADER competition, for which applications are due by early May. If we pass, this could yield approximately £30,000. LEADER have offered us much support in getting this far, so the Committee is reasonably hopeful.
Pending: We have another application in to the Power to Change Community Business Fund. Success here would be a real boost to building the Shop and Café. A recent email from someone who has advised the Fund in the past has described our application as strong. We should know by the end of January whether we are through to the second stage.
6. Watch this space: Work continues to identify an alternative design for the Shop and Café which is simpler and less costly, while maintaining the essential features that would serve the community. 

Michael and Robin McCulloch
Joint Chairmen
01608 658 941
mcmcculloch@btinternet.com

Ways to use the Bledington Shop number 6: pick up a mail order parcel you weren’t home to sign for.

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