February 2018 Update from the Bledington Community Shop Group

Closing the Gap

The gap between what we have and what we need to build our new Community Shop and Café continues to shrink.  The first few days of 2018 have already seen two generous donations, one from a resident and the second from a corporate, that raise our total funds to over £150,000, leaving less than £50,000 to be secured before we can begin construction.

In March we will launch a new community share offer.  Unlike the initial share offer some years ago, which was mainly about attracting members, the 2018 scheme is aimed directly at raising enough funds to close the remaining gap.  For taxpayers, the new scheme should offer an attractive potential benefit—50% tax relief on contributions. We have drafted a share offer document and sent it to HMRC for advance approval. In developing this we have been advised by the Plunkett Foundation and consultants, made possible through the Big Potential grant.

Essential as the money is, before going ahead we also need the confidence of your support.  So whatever amount you may feel able to contribute, it really matters that you participate in the new share offer.

A community shop/café succeeds when it provides the community with the goods and services that people need and want.  Looking ahead, we decided it was the right time to update our understanding of your needs, expectations, and potential usage.   Hence the village survey that a team of committee members and volunteers distributed to all households on 14 January.  The survey was also designed to identify potential volunteers, to help once the shop opens, but also to provide particular skills and experience needed to get the project underway.

Thank you to the many who have responded already.  If you have not yet returned your survey, please do so now.  Your views are vitally important. Please drop it in to any committee member or to Louise Jackson, our Development Coordinator, at 7 Old Forge Close.

On Friday 19 January we had our first presence at Rendezvous.  We plan to be there once a month – next time will be 23 February.

REMEMBER our Just Giving Page for online donations http://bit.ly/2gV5Lyl.  If we all circulate this to friends and family, to everyone who has ever asked you to sponsor them, we can soon be in the thousands.  All those little donations will add up to a significant contribution to funding the shop.

Thank You!!

Ways to use the Bledington Shop number 8: Post information about your next event on the noticeboard

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