Around 70 shareholders attended Fittleworth Stores AGM on Thursday 25th January. Much of the evening was spent reporting on the activities of the first reporting period and presenting the first set of accounts. There was then an update on activities since the close of the first reporting period and plans for the year ahead. A significant portion of the evening was spent on reviewing the costs model and reporting on funds secured.
There was a discussion on whether there should be a post office local within the shop. They looked at the options of either continuing with the present mobile post office van service or a full post office local within the shop which would be open broadly for the same hours the shop is open for. Those present at the meeting were unanimously in favour of a post office local service if that could be achieved. To proceed with this option there will need to be a body of volunteers who are trained up in post office tasks.
One other important function of the AGM was the election of members of the Management Committee. The existing Committee were required (under the Rules of Fittleworth Community Shop Ltd) to stand down, although the entire group stood for re-election (and was voted in). Three new members of the Management Committee were also voted in: Sally Tanner, Katy Warner and Catherine Guyler.
Volunteers will be really crucial to the success of the shop. When the shop opens there will be two paid members of staff – a shop manager and assistant manager. Fittleworth Stores are looking to assemble a small army of volunteers who will support the work of the manager and assistant manager.
Volunteering will not be an onerous commitment and full training will be provided. Fittleworth Stores aim to offer 2 hour “shifts” so you would only need to be prepared to give up a couple of hours a week at a time convenient to you (although if you want to do more than just one shift a week then that’s great too!).
As mentioned above, there is possibility of setting up a post office local branch in the shop. In order to do so we would need to set up a team of “post office volunteers”. This group would be fully trained in post office tasks so would be able to operate the post office function in the shop. You would need to be able to commit to 4 hours a week minimum. You wouldn’t be chained to the post office counter for your shift – when the post office is quiet you would be able to help out on other volunteering tasks in the shop and café so would still be a full member of the shop team too. Fittleworth Stores are looking for at least 6 people to come forward as our post office volunteer team. If they can’t find 6 volunteers then they will not be able to take on a post office local branch. If you think you might be interested in volunteering, whether for our regular 2 hour shifts or as one of our post office volunteers please do email either [email protected] or [email protected]
The combined shop, playground and youth area projects have an estimated total cost of £403,000. Although the costs are considerable this is a major once in a lifetime project for the village delivering huge benefits to our community. .
So far, Fittleworth Stores have raised an incredible £376,000 through received, pledged or promised funds. The majority of this staggering amount has been raised within the last 12 months. It is anticipated that a further £14,400 will be received from outstanding grant applications and the gift aid scheme. This makes a total of £390,400.
If you are able to make a donation please do get in touch with Alison at [email protected].