Whitley Bay Big Local opens new social supermarket to provide affordable food

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A Whitley Bay charity has opened a new social supermarket.

A local resident-led charity has launched a new affordable food club in Whitley Bay.

The Whitley Bay Big Local, located on Whitley Road, has been offering a range of activities and services to North Tyneside residents since last year.

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The community-run charity was provided emergency food provisions to local residents and now, in an effort to increase the sustainability of the support, it has transformed its offer into an on-site social supermarket.

The new offering means that residents can shop for a selection of fresh fruit and veg, milk, bakery items, tins and dried goods up to the value of £10, but only pay £5.

The Whitley Bay Big Local social supermarket has officially opened. Photo: Other 3rd Party.The Whitley Bay Big Local social supermarket has officially opened. Photo: Other 3rd Party.
The Whitley Bay Big Local social supermarket has officially opened. Photo: Other 3rd Party. | Other 3rd Party

David Carnaffan, chief executive officer at Whitley Bay Big Local, has given an insight into what can be expected from the new supermarket.

He said: "Whitley Bay Hub is delighted to have received funding from North Tyneside Council to develop a community shop.

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“The idea of the shop is to prevent people falling into food crisis by offering healthy essentials at an affordable price.

“Our shop offers fresh fruit and vegetables, household essentials, bakery products and tinned goods. 

“We currently have over 75 members and numbers are growing each week.”

Fresh produce is available at the new supermarket. Photo: Other 3rd Party.Fresh produce is available at the new supermarket. Photo: Other 3rd Party.
Fresh produce is available at the new supermarket. Photo: Other 3rd Party. | Other 3rd Party

Councillor Karen Clark, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at North Tyneside Council, has highlighted the importance of the work that Whitley Bay Big Local does.

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Cllr Clark added: “Charities like Whitley Bay Big Local are at the heart of communities in North Tyneside, offering a safe and welcoming space for our residents.

“The rising cost of living has impacted many of our residents, and we as a Council are committed to offering as much support as we can, but this wouldn’t be possible without organisations like The Big Local.

“The choice and dignity affordable food provisions offer residents cannot be understated, and I’m grateful to The Big Local and other charities like it that are working with us to provide necessary support.”

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Members can buy products up to the value of £10 and pay only £5 for them. Photo: Other 3rd Party.Members can buy products up to the value of £10 and pay only £5 for them. Photo: Other 3rd Party.
Members can buy products up to the value of £10 and pay only £5 for them. Photo: Other 3rd Party. | Other 3rd Party

The Whitley Bay Big Local social supermarket is open on Tuesdays and Fridays between 10am and 2pm and on Wednesdays between 3pm and 6pm.

Membership is required, with an annual membership costing just £5. Anyone receiving Universal Credit is eligible for a free membership.

The charity has confirmed that shoppers can load their membership card from as little as £3.

The social supermarket is just one of five newly launched provisions in North Tyneside since January 2024, thanks to funding from North Tyneside Council's Community Food Grant.

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