Co-op in the community - Deanshanger store
Situated less than 10 miles away from Milton Keynes, Deanshanger is a picturesque village with around 4,000 residents.
We acquired our High Street site after another retailer pulled out. Although planning permission had already been granted, there was still unease amongst local people about how the new shop was going to affect residents and other traders.
Working with the community
As a community retailer, The Co-op looks to forge positive and lasting relationships with the communities we serve. The Deanshanger store team made contact with the Parish Council to better understand the needs of local people.
We kept lines of communication open, listened to what the councillors had to say and made sure that all their questions were answered.
We also had discussions around how the new store team would work with the local community to support initiatives that mattered to them. Here are just some of the things that we organised:
- We donated a hamper of own brand products to a raffle, raising over £1,000 for the local air ambulance.
- We gave £200 to the local playgroup. The store’s Community Pioneer has since developed the relationship, supplying the children with a weekly supply of fresh fruit.
- Our construction team also got involved, donating £1,000 to a number of good causes. £400 went to the Christmas lights fund, £200 to the local football club and a further £400 provided Christmas dinners at the local drop in centre.
The store opened at the end of 2015 and is trading well. As most of the store staff live in the town itself, they have been able to maintain and grow relationships with key community groups.
Claire Kennedy, Chair of Deanshanger Parish Council, commented: