Community shop helps struggling families cut down shopping bills

(From left to right) Sandra Turner, volunteer, Billie Lawler, shop manager, Justine Staines, volunteer and Nik Chapman...

(From left to right) Sandra Turner, volunteer, Billie Lawler, shop manager, Justine Staines, volunteer and Nik Chapman, Charles Burrell Centre's new CEO, at The Burrell Shop, East Anglia's first citizen supermarket. - Credit: Billie Lawler

A pioneering community shop which has helped more than 70 members to save money on their shopping bills is calling out to families in the area who need a bit of help. 

The Burrell Shop at the Charles Burrell Centre in Thetford is a scheme which officially launched in November last year, to support residents who live in the Burrell Ward. 

The shop works on a member basis, and families who wish to use its services are asked to sign up. 

Now store manager, Billie Lawler, is hoping they see more people take advantage of this vital service. 

(From left to right) Sandra Turner, volunteer and Billie Lawler, shop manager at The Burrell Shop, at the Charles Burrell...

(From left to right) Sandra Turner, volunteer and Billie Lawler, shop manager at The Burrell Shop, at the Charles Burrell Centre.  - Credit: Billie Lawler

Miss Lawler said: “We want it to be like a friendly corner shop, with great prices. 


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“Memberships are growing week on week as more people realise it is here for them to access. 

“But we have to fight against the attitude of ‘there are people worse off than me’.  

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“We are still finding that people don’t think they are allowed to come and access the shop. 

“So, it’s up to us to find those people and engage with them and make sure we are helping as many people as possible." 

After showing proof of address and paying a one-off joining fee of £3.50 per household, members can buy fresh, frozen, dried and tinned food, alongside toiletries, nappies and personal care items provided by charities at a hugely reduced cost. 

One member who has six children at home did a price comparison with a leading supermarket and saved a total of £37. 

The Burrell shop has now opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, offering a much-needed l

The Burrell shop has now opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, offering a much-needed life line for residents who are feeling the pinch after a difficult year. Photo: Gary Donnison - Credit: Archant

Miss Lawler said: “This member was really struggling. During winter she would have to make the choice between putting the heating on or eating. 

“That £37 enabled her to heat her and put the gas on with a lot less worry. 

“She comes every fortnight to do a large shop and she will pop back in to get top up items. 

“It’s very simply things that people are able to do more freely. For some it has been being able to get a new pair of school shoes, or paying their bills on time, there are so many things that people have been able to do with less worry.” 

The Burrell shop has now opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, offering a much-needed l

The Burrell shop has now opened at the Charles Burrell Centre, in Thetford, offering a much-needed life line for residents who are feeling the pinch after a difficult year. Photo: Gary Donnison - Credit: Archant

The Burrell shop is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm and Mondays 4pm to 6pm.   

(From left to right) Justine Staines, volunteer, Billie Lawler, shop manager, and Nik Chapman, Charles Burrell Centre's...

(From left to right) Justine Staines, volunteer, Billie Lawler, shop manager, and Nik Chapman, Charles Burrell Centre's new CEO, at The Burrell Shop.  - Credit: Billie Lawler


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