COMMUNITY Owned since 2018
In 2017 Roadwater villagers formed and registered a Community Benefit Society (CBS) to buy and run the Community Shop. Just over a year later we had raised sufficient funds to achieve this, taking ownership of the property and business in July 2018. Most of the money was raised locally through purchase of shares and donations, with some grants.
The generosity of the community in Roadwater and surrounding villages in purchasing shares reinforced our faith in their support and commitment to the shop. We now have over 300 shareholders. Purchase of a minimum shareholding of £25 carries automatic membership of the CBS, with equal voting rights regardless of the size of your shareholding (see Become a shareholder below for details).
Under the next stage of our strategic plan, we raised £230,000 through grants and a loan to fund renovations to the old and rather unsafe building and an extension to establish the café and community hub, where people can socialise and access information. The radically changed new premises opened in December 2019, considerably enhancing the service we could provide.
How we operate
The shop operates with a mix of paid staff and volunteers. There are nine part-time paid staff, complemented by volunteers who help with serving at busy times and with other essential background tasks. One paid staff member is present during all shop opening hours to carry responsibility.
The staff team is non-hierarchical, with no overall manager. Day-to-day decisions are taken at staff meetings and via WhatsApp messaging, with some individual members taking on specific responsibilities.
There is also a financial management team comprising two part-time book-keepers and the Treasurer.
Overall responsibility for management and major decisions lies with the management committee, which meets monthly. Minutes of the meetings are available here.
We stock produce from many local suppliers, including food, a range of cards, candles and other small items from local artists.
(Photo: Receiving the Business Champion for Plastic Free Exmoor award)
How you can become involved
Become a shareholder
If you would like to be involved in supporting the shop and café, you can become a shareholder. The CBS shares are non-transferable and designed for non-profit organisations, so cannot be sold or given away and cannot be a source of profit.
Purchase of a minimum 25 x £1 shares in the CBS automatically confers membership with voting rights and regular updates. We are keen to welcome new members, so if you are interested please contact us on email@example.com or speak to someone in the shop.
You will find the share application form here.
Become a volunteer
Volunteers are also always needed to help out with a range of practical tasks in the shop and café, either at the till or behind the scenes. In fact, we depend heavily on their input.
So if you have the time and interest and/ or have useful skills and ideas, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or speak to someone in the shop.