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A new social market in whitley bay big local offers cheap food


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A new social market in Whitley Bay Big Local offers cheap food! A community initiative in the heart of Whitley Bay is shaking the place up to provide affordable food options for local people. The Whitley Road community initiative is a charity steered by local people. They have launched an innovative, affordable food club. Last year saw the birth of this initiative in North Tyneside, which is acting as a beacon of support, community spirit, and an array of activities.

Whitley bay big local

Its inception saw the charity intervene to provide food parcels on an emergency basis for those in need. This organization is taking its operation a notch higher, and it will soon reach a stage where it is developing an on-site social supermarket, seeking to breed a more sustainable model of support for its community. 


And here comes the social supermarket—a new concept for residents to have things worth £10 at just £5, which includes anything from fresh fruit and vegetables to dairy products, bakery essentials, and tinned and dried goods. It helps in the current counteraction of the posed food security threat, but also in the long-term future in the promotion and establishment of healthy eating habits among the community members. David Carnaffan is the Chief Executive Officer of Whitley Bay Big Local. 


With the support of North Tyneside Council, the project helps in the effort to prevent food crises within the community by providing them with reasonably priced, nutritious food. It has now become a kind of centre for members of the community, with membership growing week by week, which continues to confirm the critical role it plays in the daily lives of the locals.


Councillor Karen Clark, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at North Tyneside Council, said: “There is no doubt that Whitley Bay Big Local has been a brilliant force for good.” She says the work and contributions from the organization are invaluable, more so at this time when the rising cost of living has left a section of many residents vulnerable. Partnership with local charities—Whitley Bay Big Local—clearly outlines joint efforts to help the needy by giving them dignity and choice, such as food supplies.


The social supermarket works on a membership model to ensure the beneficiaries are part of the community effort. With a nominal annual membership fee and special provisions for those on Universal Credit, the supermarket opens itself up to a broad cross-section of the population. This inclusivity is vital for building a supportive community network.


This is part of a much larger movement in North Tyneside, with the social supermarket being one of five such provisions backed by the North Tyneside Council’s Community Food Grant that started in January 2024. That is more than positive proof that community collaboration and innovative thinking work best at solving pressing social issues.


Quite simply, the affordable food club offered by Whitley Bay Big Local is much more than a supermarket. For many, it is a lifeline; for the community, it is a hub; and indeed, it testifies to what may be achieved when a community comes together to support its own fully. It has become a guiding light of hope and solidarity, providing the residents of Whitley Bay not only with food but also with a sense of belonging and mutual support.

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