Over the past 4 years local people working together as volunteers have been building Talking Shop into a true community project, growing a very broad support base, gaining the skills and experience that put us in a great position to take on our own space at the hall and to start up a Community Hub.
- fantastic volunteers (giving 80+ hours a week to maintain and grow the project)
- great customers who continue coming to the market no matter where we are
- OCVA Best Community Project 2013
- SODC Young Achiever’s award 2013 and Community Champion at Oxfordshire’s Youth Awards 2014 for Honor, one of our volunteers
- we have a strong network of local suppliers, lots of support from other brilliant Community Shops and great local charities (Restore, Age UK, ORCC)
- we are a member of the Plunkett Foundation, OCVA, Oxford’s Community Markets, Oxfordshire’s Community Shops network and a signatory to Oxford’s Good Food Charter
- we have established a profitable fundraising enterprise (market & café) and we’ve delivered numerous fundraising events and activities (raising £30,000+)
- secured grants of £11,000
Not just a Community Market
As we work towards taking on the new space at the hall where we will be able to offer other services we can see are much needed, lots of work is going on behind the scenes to build our capacity to do that well. We want to be able to do lots from that space over time. We want to:
- deliver a structured, inclusive programme for volunteers, offer work experience and, hopefully, in time apprenticeships
- give the community an extended social hub which is open during the week, including a café and shop
- have a commercial-grade kitchen available for hire to local secondary producers needing work space (eg. bakers, jam makers etc) and for the delivery of pop-up restaurants in our café space
- build a network of community-led services e.g. good-neighbour network, skills-share or time-bank (a way to help each other by sharing the different skills we have), and a local transport network (lifts to the doctors)
- offer drop-in support at The Hub e.g. letting people know what other services are available to help them, putting them in touch with people and organisations, helping people with computers and the internet
- run education programmes (e.g. food growing, cooking, DIY, sewing, mending)
- build a programme of regular community eating (expanding the lunch club, introducing regular free community meals)
- develop ways to support new small local businesses through the market, café and shop to help and encourage new local producers, and to inspire young people wanting to start up their own enterprise .. (including support for young people and adults with mental ill-health).
With a dedicated space the potential is huge. Together as a community we can try to bring back vital services and activities to the village that have been lost over time and we can introduce valuable new ones too.
Talking Shop is much much more than a market and café and it belongs to everyone.
Please get in touch if you want to get involved, if you have ideas for something we could start up, or if you just want to be kept up to date: email@example.com