Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme shortlisted for national award

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Itteringham Village Shop is just one of those the Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme has supported

A partnership between housebuilder Hopkins Homes and charity Plunkett Foundation, which provided vital support to community-owned organisations during the pandemic, is in the running to win a national award.

The Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme supported more than 35 community-owned shops, pubs and businesses in East Anglia over a nine-month period from June 2020.

The scheme has been recognised by the prestigious Charity Times Awards which celebrates best practice in the UK Charity and not-for-profit sector.

Shortlisted in the Corporate Community Local Involvement category, the winner will be announced at a ceremony held at the London Marriott Hotel in Grosvenor Square on September 9th 2021.

James Hopkins, Executive Chairman and Founder of Hopkins Homes, said: “The Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme was set up to provide vital professional support and financial help to community-owned organisations, that faced huge challenges due to the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The scheme allowed these organisations, such as pubs and shops, to adapt and diversify to a new normal in order to continue providing vital community services which are often a lifeline in helping to fight rural isolation – a major issue in East Anglia.

“We are delighted along with the Plunkett Foundation to have been recognised by the Charity Times Awards for the scheme’s commitment to supporting community-owned businesses.”

Hopkins Homes committed £30,000 to fund the Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme during this period. This programme provided advice and support through national charity Plunkett Foundation’s team of specialist community business advisors. The scheme is expected to be extended this summer.

In addition to advice and help, £10,000 in small grants was distributed to 17 community-owned shops and pubs in the region. Grants enabled businesses to upgrade equipment, introduce new services such as the provision of takeaway food and drink, or adapt their physical space to create a Covid-safe environment for customers and staff.

James Alcock, Plunkett’s Chief Executive, said: “We are proud to be part of the Hopkins Plunkett Communities Scheme and delighted at the considerable positive impact it has had for communities in East Anglia.

“The small grants programme and the funding for our advice service has allowed us to offer even more support during a period that was extremely difficult for many community businesses.”

The support from Hopkins Homes is part of the Hopkins Charitable Fund which since 2017 has donated over £370,000 in small grants, given over £450,000 to major projects and supported over 140 charities across East Anglia.

To find out more about the extensive work of the Hopkins Charitable Fund, visit: https://www.hopkinshomes.co.uk/charitable-fund/