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Local people worried about the recession and benefit changes ahead are being thrown a lifeline at Big Life Centres’ new community shop in the Cheetwood Centre, Cheetham.

The shop is run entirely by volunteers, and is stocked with essential cupboard basics such as tins, cereals, bread and eggs.

The team at Cheetwood has been making up food parcels using donations for a year, and giving to residents who are housebound or in need in other ways. But with the impending changes to the benefits system, staff and volunteers decided to spread the help and set up a community shop where basic foods could be bought with a voluntary donation.

Volunteer shop manager Angela Carr said:”We are hearing local people say they can’t afford to shop at supermarkets any more. They are worried about the new bedroom tax and scared of eviction, but if they know they can come here and at least buy a tin of soup for tea then they aren’t going without anything.”

The shop is stocked following deliveries from Fareshare, a charity which redistributes surplus food from major supermarkets and manufacturers to community organisations.
Local resident Jean Smith from Agnes Street said: “It’s a very good idea, it all helps, with the extra pounds I’ve got I can now buy other household things. It’s a worrying time for everyone at the moment.”

Cheetwood Centre Manager Sian Sweeney said:”We wanted to support our local families in stress due to money worries, and so we just ask for a voluntary donation towards the items to help us recoup the cost of receiving the food but if somebody came who had nothing they would receive a food parcel.”

The shop is also on the hunt for a freezer, so they are able to start offering chilled foods also. If anyone has a freezer to donate the shop, please contact Sian Sweeney on 07917 531 451.

Residents are asked to sign up as a member of the Cheetwood Centre and show proof of benefits to use the shop.

The shop runs every Thursday from 1 to 3pm.

For further information contact Big Life group Communications on 0161 848 2425 email or

Notes to Editors: The Cheetwood Centre in Cheetham, is part of Big Life Centres, which is a registered charity (no.1062333) and a member of The Big Life group of social businesses and charities. It has a wealth of sports and community facilities on
offer and provides meeting rooms, a good sized multi purpose space and sports facilities.



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