Following the threat of closure of our village shop, the parish of Hawkesbury came together at the beginning of 2016 to decide what to do.
The shop had been registered as a community asset, so there was a six month moratorium on the sale of the property. In this time, the community agreed to try and raise the funds to buy the shop property and open a community-owned store. We called the campaign Save Our Shop – or SOS.
Over half of Hawkesbury households (and a few from further afield) made a financial contribution to the project – ranging from £50 (one share) to £12,000. We raised over £160,000 in total.
Purchase of the property was completed on the closing day of the previous village shop, and Hawkesbury Stores – our community-owned business – opened its doors the following day, Saturday 25 June 2016.
After a month of trading we held a Grand Opening event to celebrate our community’s achievement. Before heading off to Rio2016, paralympic footballer James Blackwell cut the ribbon and declared Hawkesbury Stores officially open in front of scores of local people.