YMCA Spar Stoke

Spar has launched its first non-profit store, in partnership with YMCA. The 1,500 sq ft site on Harding Road, Stoke on Trent was officially opened to the public on 6th June.

All profits made in-store will be reinvested into YMCA North Staffordshire to provide opportunities and support to disadvantaged young people. The not-for-profit venture between Blakemore Trade Partners and the charity is funded by the Blakemore co-investment scheme and the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s Regional Growth Fund.

Development Director at Blakemore, Louis Drake, said: “I am delighted that Blakemore Trade Partners are working with YMCA North Staffordshire on their first retail business. To develop a business relationship with a charitable organisation is extremely rewarding for all involved. Furthermore we believe that our business partnership will result in the YMCA operating an excellent local convenience store.”

Many of the 12 positions in the Harding store were filled through an employability programme offered by the charity. All new staff members have been given full training.

YMCA resident in North Staffordshire, Jordan Harris, said: “I think the SPAR shop is a great thing for our local community and I really like that it is bringing jobs to our area.”

YMCA North Staffordshire is accessed by nearly 2,000 local people across their family, health and youth support services each year.

Commercial Manager at YMCA North Staffordshire, Linda Freeman, said: “We are very excited about the launch of our new convenience store and Blakemore Trade Partners have been excellent throughout. With charities facing a reduction in their traditional sources of income, it is important to find new ways of funding our valuable services. We feel this project is very innovative and sets an example for others to follow.”