Pepys Social Supermarket

The supermarket ready for its members

On Friday 27 March 2020, the Pepys Social Supermarket opened the doors to the first of its members. The service has since proved invaluable. 

The award winning 2000 Community Action Centre based in the ‘Heart of Deptford’ launched its project just as the UK went into lockdown. Due to Covid-19 and the need to increase collaboration, support for the Pepys Social Supermarket (“PSS”) came from local Mutual Aid groups such as the Bear Church, the Hill Station Café, Hawksmoor and individual food donors. In addition, good quality food collected and recycle from supermarkets by FareShare support charities like ours to reach those most in need. A grant from Action Against Hunger currently funds the purchase of additional food items required by the supermarket. PSS continue to receive donations through gofundme.com. A special thank you to everyone who has contributed. 

Membership to the Pepys Social Supermarket is open to residents and locals on low income. It is free to register and the weekly ‘subscription’ is £3.50. In return members are provided fresh fruit & veg, frozen and tinned foods, a range of meats, toiletries and household items etc. to the value of £25-£35. The range of food provided takes account of the dietary needs of the users: meat, fish & Halal produce, vegetarian & vegan, English & African-Caribbean and a door to door delivery to those requiring this service. 

The supermarket is open on Fridays, between 11.30 – 3.30, by appointment only. The Pepys Social Supermarket is run by volunteers who are the residents and local people contributing to their communities. 

Phase 1 – the Pepys Social Supermarket concept commenced in 2017, a redesign of the 2000 Community Action Centre’s 2014 Health Strategy. Amongst other things, the aim is to help address nutrition & healthy eating and improve health & well-being outcomes. To help realise our vision we have partnered with SELCHP, Evelyn Parents Forum, Bench Outreach, The Living Centre, Travis Perkins and Lewisham Homes. On a much smaller scale, local families were identified and assisted with food received from FareShare and other donations. 

Phase 2 – in November 2019 funding partnerships were formed with the Evelyn Assembly and London Catalyst. The 2000 Community Action Centre engaged the services of a Community Store Developer to assist with the initial setting up of Pepys Social Supermarket. The overall aim is a service with local people at its heart: managing the project as well as benefitting from it. As part of the one stop shop, shoppers will be given access to other core services to include advice & welfare support, education & training, and leisure & recreational pursuits. 

Example of feedback from members of the Pepys Social Supermarket: “Thank you”, “It’s well organised and friendly”, “The people are so special”. With the support of the residents and locals, the 2000 Community Action Centre is convinced the PSS will continue to develop and evolve into the future.

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