A GREEN community initiative helping people ‘reuse, refill and recycle’ has launched a new share scheme after moving to larger premises.
The Green Gram, in Fordingbridge, opened in May 2022 offering refills of foods, cleaning products and toiletries.
Staffed by volunteers, in its first year the store helped customers prevent more than 16,000 containers – the equivalent of 372kg of plastic – being thrown out, by refilling the containers they already owned.
The Community Benefit Society – which is owned by members of the public – has been so successful that it is moving to larger premises, the former Harrison’s building at 23 High Street.
The new premises are more easily accessible to all, with a level entranceway and near the pedestrian crossing.
Committee member, Jo Anderson, said: “We’re moving to new premises so we can offer more products, help more customers reduce their impact on the environment and save money too.
“We opened The Green Gram as a Community Benefit Society with a share offer, allowing members of the community to invest both physically and emotionally in the shop.
“We’ve now launched our second share open to existing and new members to help fund the move.”
The group is hoping to raise £15,000 from the option, with shares available from £10, with a minimum buy-in of a single share, and an upper limit of 250 (£2,500 investment).
“Our first round of share funding went extremely well, and we are hoping that people will be able to give again and help us grow,” Jo said.
“With sustainability and the environment as a key focus and our motto of ‘Reuse, Refill and Repeat’, we know our work makes a difference to our local community – as well as being more cost-effective than a throwaway society.”
The more shares sold, the more The Green Gram will be able to offer in the new premises, she said, with a proportion of profits used to support local environmental and social projects through grants, which members can vote for at the Annual Members’ Meeting.
The share offer is now open and people can find out more – and buy – online at www.thegreengram.org. It closes at midnight on September 17.
Anyone aged 16 and over can buy shares, and the offer is open to new and existing shareholders. Applications must be completed by individuals -shares cannot be held in joint names.