From prayer walk to freshly home grown produce filling the shelves of a community Pop up shop
During August of last year, the Revd Carol Mansell and a team from All Hallows Church went on a prayer walk and distributed prayer cards to houses in the Gainsborough area of Ipswich. One of those houses was David Holder’s, and once he received the card, he felt compelled to get in touch with offers of help.
It started with him volunteering on Tuesdays to help serve in the community BASIC LIFE Pop up shop, and then coming in on Mondays to help set up the shop.
All Hallow’s Church, Ipswich hosts the Pop up shop to help those in the community. The food for the shop is provided by the BASIC LIFE charity, along with community member donations. Dave Holder also contributes his own freshly grown produce from his allotment, which included beetroots, marrows and tomatoes and so much more.
The way the shop operates is simple and cost effective – people come along and buy a bag for £2 and fill it up with what they need.
Dave Holder says, “I realised I had surplus goods and it would be a shame to see it go to waste. It is lovely they can be of use in the Pop up shop. When people thank me and say they are grateful for the fresh goods from my allotment it makes me feel great - it gives me a warm tingly feeling! On a Tuesday morning just before everyone arrives I relax and meditate, it is a wonderful feeling.”
Getting involved with the shop has deepened Dave’s faith – after volunteering for the Pop-up shop, he felt a calling to continue to care and provide for people.
The Pop-up shop has become an asset to the community and has helped grow and strengthen bonds between the church and the local community.
The Revd Carol Mansell says “The shop feels warm and homely, it is a safe space for people to mingle and get to know one another. I have watched as babies have grown into toddlers and I am always delighted to see the older children playing with the younger ones. I am pleased that the church is able to help those in our community in this way”.
Carol adds “I am grateful that our prayer walk led me to meet Dave, this has demonstrated how meeting people, getting people together and involved in a project can lead to creating something rather special”.
The BASIC LIFE Charity is an independent Christian charity which supports several charity shops and Pop up community shops in Suffolk. The Pop-up shops are unique in their concept in that they are open to all Basic Life is delighted to join forces with local churches and other organisations to combat food insecurity and food waste. For more information please visit their website www.basic.org.uk.