The West Down Community Shop now has it’s own dedicated website – for the latest information go to:
I am writing on behalf of West Down Community Shop Ltd. We are aware that many new people have moved in to the village over the last year and we hope that this will be of interest to them as well as being an update for more established residents.
The community shop that we are lucky enough to have in our village today was taken on by a small group of villagers in 2012 as a means of serving the people of West Down, who would otherwise be reliant on public transport or their cars for day-to-day groceries – not very convenient or environmentally friendly if all you need is a pint of milk or loaf of bread.
The business side of the shop is run by a small committee of local people who take on the roles of treasurer and vice-treasurer, secretary and vice-secretary, chair and vice-chair, with other tasks including publicity, minute taking and DIY expert being equally important. The shop cannot run without these people but at least four of these roles will become vacant in the near future.
Do you have any skills that could help us? Have you any experience in running a business large or small, book-keeping, or could you perhaps develop a web page for us? We really need to hear from you and nominations for places on the committee are now available ahead of our AMM in June. The closing date for nominations at the AMM is 10 May. Please consider anything that you might be able to contribute, either for a regular slot in the shop or on our (honestly very friendly!) committee by contacting either Sara Hodsman at email@example.com or Wendy Neligan at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just pop in to the shop for a chat. We’d love to hear from you and frankly, we can’t carry on without you.
The shop is run entirely for the good of the village and does not aim to make a profit above what is needed to cover our costs. To keep our overheads to a minimum, only our manager and weekend assistant earn a salary, with all other staff being volunteers. As a volunteer myself, I have found this to be a very rewarding experience, allowing me to get to know far more people in the village, learn new skills, and I really feel that I am contributing to my local community. Over the last year, this has been particularly important as we have been able to support vulnerable and shielding villagers with grocery deliveries and to allow many people to be able to ‘stay local’ – and we never ran out of loo rolls! We are also a hub of local knowledge, look after the village defibrillator and will always, always be happy to chat.
On a less altruistic note, having a village shop has a very positive impact on our house prices. Watch a couple of episodes of Escape to the Country and it becomes obvious that a pub and local shop are the absolute musts for the perfect village to move to. Add to that our excellent school and pretty church and we would seem to have it all. However – times are tough for the shop at present. Many of our volunteers have not been able to help us due to the pandemic and some will not be coming back, it has recently been very difficult for us to maintain our usual hours. We desperately need a few new people to step up and don the WDCS apron. Full training is given and most people commit to just a two-hour weekly shift, which is a small amount of time but would make such a big difference.
Finally – there is no point in having a shop unless we use it. Consider perhaps ordering your regular milk, bread, newspaper, yogurt or eggs from us, put in a weekly grocery order or buy your wine and beer from us, or maybe just make sure that you pop in for the odd ice-cream or tin of beans, it all helps. We try to buy locally grown and produced items as far as possible, so we may be a couple of pence more expensive than Tesco but we try and be competitive and many items are identical in price and after all, you don’t have to get your car out. Our stock is constantly changing and if we don’t stock something that you would like to buy from us let us know, we’ll do our best to get it for you.
Please, please, don’t let this precious service to our village and visitors disappear. Once it’s gone it’s gone and we’ll all be the poorer for it. Give us a little bit of time, custom or expertise and we will thrive and so will our community.
With our very kindest regards
On behalf of WDCS Ltd.
Good news for those environmentally minded shoppers – the shop is now selling Full and Semi-Skimmed milk in returnable 1 pint glass bottles as well Orange Juice in 1 pint returnable glass bottles….please return empties to the shop for re-cycling.
West Down Village Stores is a superbly stocked general stores, off-license and foodie store. We sell everything from newspapers, household cleaning products and store cupboard essentials to fresh fruit and vegetables, local eggs and meats, wine and spirits. The premium brands we stock include spelt muesli, Miles coffee, Waterhouse Fayre jams and preservatives, Bake-house Biscuits, local Cheese, a range of Biona products .
Holidaying in West Down?
The West Down Community Shop offers a ‘holiday box’ service. Simply complete the order form and post or email your order to us. We can then get your groceries ready for your collection on the day that is convenient for you.
Ready for Breakfast? We stock a range of locally made cereals, bread
honey, apple juice, tea and coffe to set you up for the day ahead.
Pop in for some great local cheeses,
chutney and piccalilli.
Jamie Oliver pasta and sauces have arrived in
the shop, why not make tonight pasta night?