Balliol food co-op
When the food co-op opened there was felt to be a need on the Longbenton Estate for better access to fresh groceries. The Healthy Eating Communities organisation already operated from the Balliol centre and as local shops were closing and access to shopping via bus/metro an ongoing issue for many residents, it was decided that the possibility of a food co-op be investigated. The main idea behind this was the provision of and access to fresh fruit and vegetables. A grant was awarded to Balliol by the Healthy Communities organisation and also the Co-operative Wholesale Society and the food co-op set up on a non profit making basis. The co-op was open from 11 am – 1 pm on Mondays and Fridays and was run entirely by volunteers. From the beginning the project was well received and had many regular and returning customers. It was a big part of Balliols’ story and the place it has had on the estate for many people.