Chocolate giveaway goes down well at new community store

A shop to help people with the cost of living crisis has opened in Ilkeston.
Chris Jones, project manager at the Living Hope Community Store on Bath Street revealed that the shop would be offering products at affordable prices to people in need.
At the opening at the weekend, there was a big chocolate hand out.
Chris said that they had first opened their shop in a basement of a Methodist church in Ilkeston about six months ago. But with over 2,000 people now signed up at their database they needed bigger premises. A former retail shop near Heron became free so they moved there.
“We want to help people access products they need in the cost of living crisis,” said Chris. “Some products will be free, some will be for 30 per cent off the original price, some for 70 per cent. We don’t want to replace commercial shops, but we want to offer people products that they could not afford otherwise.
“We are open for everyone who needs us, students, pensioners, employed or unemployed. Working poverty is currently on the rise in the UK and there is a lot of stigma around it. We don’t judge anyone.”
The opening ceremony attracted over 350 people to the shop on the first day after the ribbon was cut by Sian Hooton, Miss Diamond UK.
Chris said: “The shop was absolutely full, the high street was buzzing.”
As well as giving the chocolate bars away themselves, they gave some to neighbouring businesses to pass on to their customers.
Other shops were said to be supportive and the event was described by Chris as “a brilliant example of community cohesion”.


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