Addressing Rural Isolation in the
Central and Eastern Region:
The Role of Community Shops
SHOPS owned and run by local communities reduce rural isolation, says a study released in March 2013 by the Plunkett Foundation.
Despite the perception that villages are friendly and welcoming places, isolation and loneliness is experienced by a significant number of people living in rural communities. Commissioned by the Co-operative Group Central & Eastern Region, the report outlines the range of contributing factors which lead to rural isolation and then illustrates ways that community shops are reducing it.
The report studied three community shops: The Shop, North Marston, Buckinghamshire, The Village Shop, Feckenham, Worcestershire, The Village Store and Cafe, Cottingham, Northamptonshire . As well as providing access to essential goods and services in areas where there is no alternative supply each shop contributes to social activity and networking within the community benefiting a wide range of age groups and building community spirit. The shops also provide opportunities for people to volunteer and learn new skills.
The report can be found on the Plunkett Foundation website: :http://www.plunkett.co.uk/