12 Mar 2013

Whiteshill and Ruscombe Village Shop AGM

Last week I joined 12 or more others in the Village Shop for the AGM - I thought the report by Mary Dunford, Chair of the shop's committee sums up the year wonderfully well. If you've not mad a visit part of your routine then please do consider it! And still has coffee with the best view in the Five Valleys!


2012 was a successful year for the shop. Sales in the Shop were up, and the Coffee shop did particularly well, despite the economic downturn.  Repairs are always ongoing, and we are grateful to customers who have been generously contributing to shop repairs in a collecting box on the front counter. We would like to thank Brian Gardiner who does our repairs, and continues to do such a professional job for us.

We would also like to thank Steve Marshall.  He does some gardening work for the Parish Council.  He and Committee Member Chris Brian volunteered to cut down some trees and shrubs which were causing a problem for the shop.

Astrid made colourful new curtains and matching table cloths to smarten up the Coffee Shop Area. Click read more to see the rest of the report...
 Unfortunately, the shop was broken into, twice within 10 days.  Due to various similarities, the police believe that both incidents involved the same people.  On both occasions, they climbed up the outside of the shop at the far end of the store. They used a crowbar to make a hole to climb through under the window in the door. Some of the door timbers were found to be rotting. They stole cigarettes and pick and mix sweets before the noise of the alarm scared them away.  We have been told that the police have now apprehended a suspect.  Sarah and Chris King made a personal contribution to cover the loss of money in the shop repairs box, which had also been stolen.

Some of the door timbers were found to be rotting.  Brian Gardiner removed and replaced the door with secure panelling. He also filled in the space on the outside with timber cladding to blend in.
A donation of £300 from the Parish Council helped to pay for the repairs.

Due to the break-ins the Committee decided not to sell cigarettes for a trial period of 6 months.

Derek Warner, who had been doing the accounts since the shop opened, decided to retire.  We would like to thank Claire Deacon, one of the shops regular customers, who volunteered to take over. John Booth kindly arranged to sort out the paperwork before the change over. He sent off the vat return and suggested that we deregister.
The annual stocktake took place.   

The Co-op continues to provide the shop an account to obtain 10 per cent discount, providing we spent on average £70 a week over the year.  We use Bookers and Batleys’ Wholesalers.  Goods that we are unable to sell a whole box of within the sell by time frame, are purchased in smaller amounts from local supermarkets and specialist shops with careful attention to prices.

We aim to add approximately 10 percent on our goods sourced elsewhere, depending on what we have to pay for the items.

Mary Dunford and Mary Watkins went on an organized trip to visit two other Gloucerstershire community stores.  They felt that our shop is much friendlier and has a much more diverse range of goods on offer, and is cheaper.  Most of Gloucestershires Community Shops have full time or part time paid Managers so also have large overheads. Our shop is run entirely by unpaid volunteers.

Joyce Ballinger held her successful raffles, which she funds mainly from Necter Points, and as usual we thank Edward for using his persuasive skills to sell a large number of tickets. Mary Watkins again arranged a Christmas Meal for shop helpers cooked by our volunteers Ken and Glen.   Everyone agreed it was a very enjoyable evening.

Thanks to Mary Watkins for her tireless fundraising from she continues to make generous donations to shop funds, including the Pancake Day Event, Plant Sale,   and Xmas Fare.  This year again there was delicious homemade pumpkin soup for the very successful Pumpkin Trail.

Thanks also to all her hardworking helpers.  The shop also greatly benefits from increased shop and Coffee Shop takings at these events. Mary also continues to ensure the smooth running of the shop volunteer rota, a very difficult task.

The Committee would like to welcome Shiree, Sheila W, Nick, Nick Quale, Rosalind, Julia, Miranda and Mary Hill, our new volunteers and Claire Deacon. We would also thank all the shop volunteers, some of whom have been with us from the beginning. Also those who collect the newspapers, help with shopping, and anyone else who has helped the shop in any way.

Lastly we would like to thank all our customers for their continuing support. The shop is a valuable village asset, especially for the elderly and those without transport.

When we have a heavy snowfall the shop and Coffee Shop are always packed out.  We would ask these customers to continue to support us through the year.

More volunteers are always needed.  It’s a great way to make new friends and meet new people in a friendly relaxed atmosphere.  Shifts are 2 hours to suit you to fit in with your other commitments.   Shifts can be weekly, occasionally, or to cover staff shortages, holidays or illness.

Shop opening hours     -     Monday  -  Friday      9   5
                                           Saturday                    9    1
                                           Sunday                       9   11

Shop phone number           01453 766277

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