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Kent Community Award 2022 Finalist: Barham Village Store

BVS 7

Barham Village Store (BVS) is a community village grocery shop and post office run, primarily by volunteers alongside minimal staff with surplus profits being channeled into an associated charity, the Nailbourne Community Foundation (NCF), for the benefit of groups and people in need of financial or other support. So far NCF has distributed more than £18,500 to worthy causes in our local community.

BVS provides local access to an extensive range of groceries and post office services, supplying a valued service to Barham and surrounding villages for residents, businesses and those visiting the area. Some customers depend on us for their weekly shop, others for top-up or local produce they can't get elsewhere. The shop has a value of supporting providers of local produce and we currently support 57 suppliers with 85% of them in Kent, of which, more than half are within a 10-mile radius of the shop.

Community

It is said that you get out of life what you put in and that’s certainly true of the community of volunteers at Barham Village Store. The thing that makes BVS unique is its people, the volunteers and staff who engage together, creating a fun environment to work in and serve our community. A place where nothing is too much trouble and where people will always step forward to get things done. For some volunteers it’s about giving back, for others about being part of a team, meeting people or learning a new skill.
BVS is much more than a building - it’s a community with an unsurpassed team spirit! We look out for each
other with a strong caring and community spirit. For example, where there are villagers needing help getting
shopping to them, we will deliver. Or if someone doesn’t pick up their papers as expected we will call them to
make sure they are OK. We will go the extra mile, no fuss no bother. You are sure of a warm welcome at
Barham Village Store!
The recently-established junior football club and Scouts group would not exist without our support.
Other beneficiaries include the Barham Allotment Association, the Kingston Village Playground Fund,
Barham Defibrillators, Barham Pre-School, Kingsbourne Players, Barham Village Planters the list goes on. More
than £18,500 of excess profits has been distributed so far and we are proud of all that they have achieved as
a result.
The shop has brought about a true community spirit across a diverse group of people and local organisations.
We all 'own' BVS, however large or small a part is played by each person involved. We all want it to succeed
and it's that sense of ownership and commitment, the support network and friendship that has sustained the
shop and made it the heart of Barham village.