Building our Community Shop
Benenden Community Shop aims to be the heart of the community.
For many people the shop provides an essential lifeline, for others, it is valued as a convenience which would be sorely missed. Some will discover something new. Most importantly, the entire business is run by the community for the community. The store is staffed by local volunteers, supported by professional managers and a Management Committee.
Benenden Community Shop Limited was launched in 2015 with the support of the community. It has around 350 shareholders, who together have invested over £86,000 and their time and skills. This investment, along with some small grants, supported the refit of the shop and cafe premises with counters and chillers, tills and scales, alongside purchase of initial stock, and the working capital to run the business in the first months. Shareholders are members of a Community Benefit Society under the terms of the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014. They are able to vote for, and stand for election to, a Management Committee that will have overall responsibility for the enterprise.
Our website contains operational and financial information about the management of Benenden's Community Shop, including copies of our Privacy Notice (here) latest Report and Accounts, and information shared at AGMs.
Benenden Community Shop Limited
Find out more about our Community Benefit Society: here you will find our rules and our formal registration. In 2019 we agreed to update our rules to give more clarity about our ability to make donations from surplusses, and in Spring 2020 we agreed Rule changes with the Shareholders and Financial Conduct Authority to enable us to respond to Member requests for share withdrawals in way that can be seen to be open, transparent, and fair.
Keeping Shareholders and Volunteers Up to Date
You can find presentations, minutes, and documents presented at Shareholder Annual General Meetings, and copies of our annual Report and Accounts on this page. We also have regular update meetings for our Volunteers; so here you'll find the news we've shared with them too.
Joining Benenden's Community Shop
If you missed out on our original share offer you can still join Benenden's Community Benefit Society. This means you'll have a stake in the management of the Shop. you'll have voting rights at the AGM, and can join the Shop Management Committee. If you're keen to join please download and complete this application form, and pop it, plus a cheque, in a sealed envelope clearly marked SHOP MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION and drop it into the Shop.
Expression of Wishes
Shareholders may want to let us know what they want to happen to their shares in the Shop after their death. Shares would form part of your estate for probate purposes, but a number of shareholders have asked if they could donate their shares to the Shop, or to another family member. You can print off and create a formal declaration of your wishes to provide clarity for your family.
This is an expression of wishes form that you can use.