Lifeline support for Tealby shop

Dick Woodcock, Ian Brady, Sarah Tyson and Bess Scott Gunn EMN-140206-132859001
Dick Woodcock, Ian Brady, Sarah Tyson and Bess Scott Gunn EMN-140206-132859001

Volunteers who saved a village shop have won backing from the local council and national organisations to help secure it a safer future.

At a meeting on Monday, Tealby residents heard how the village community shop faces a more secure future after its volunteers received grants and management support from West Lindsey District Council, the London-based CAN social enterprise agency and the Plunket Foundation, which also supports community enterprise in rural areas.

Bess Scott Gunn, chairman of the Tealby Village Shop Committee, says the shop was already a community shop, but it needed some help to survive.

Opened in 2004, the shop, run by a manager and volunteers, also operates an ‘outreach’ post office, and is a village tourist information centre and village hub.

“We were floundering somewhat. We have had professional advice, a grant. We were losing it. We desperately needed some help, both financially and professionally, every other way with regards to tax and everything,” said Bess.

“These people have come along, thrown us a lifeline, given us a grant and new equipment. It’s given us a huge lease of life and we are back up and running and in charge again.”

“It’s about giving advice and guidance,” said Becky Murrell, community advisor for Plunket, who was optimistic about the future of the now renamed Tealby Village Community Shop.

“We have 300 community shops across the country. We are able to share that knowledge and expertise. The Tealby shop has a good team of volunteers. The community is very much behind it. They recently lost their local butcher. That’s why community shops are so important.

“The success rate of them is far higher than commercial shops because they are owned by the community.”