Pupils with headteacher at Elms Bank


Village Green

A PRESTWICH-based community business opened its doors to allow residents to take a look behind the scenes last weekend.

Village Greens, which is based in the Longfield Centre, held a community business day on Saturday, May 5.

The initiative was part of Community Business Weekend, which aims to shine a light on community businesses and how they support their local communities

Village Greens is an independent co-operative, which first opened in 2014.

It describes itself as being 'owned by the community for the community with an emphasis on affordable fresh produce, wholefoods and an array of goodies from local suppliers, growers and farmers'.

They say they aim to 'bridge the gap' between convenience stores and supermarkets and 'trade with integrity, sourcing fair trade and ethical suppliers, developing open and honest communication with local growers and farmers and providing a fantastic place to come and do your daily and weekly shop'.

They place emphasis on natural ingredients, organic fresh fruit and vegetables and deli products.

Residents were invited to learn about the group's work within the local community, as well as with Elms Bank Adult Learners, Eat Pennines, and Incredible Edibles Prestwich, all of whom were present.

Over the past four years, Village Greens has supported work experience placements for young people with learning disabilities.

Students at Elms Bank College attend the store for one morning per week, carrying out a number of tasks around the store, supporting their personal, social and development skill in readiness for work; while giving them a sense of pride and belonging.

Rachel Getliffe, one of the founders of Village Greens, said: "Our community business day was a great success.

"It was fantastic to make people aware of the very worthwhile work we do in the local community with organisations.

"We are extremely proud of our commitment to supporting the local community and economy, providing employment volunteering work placements and collaboration with local food enterprises."