Banbury pop-up shop puts new spotlight on community heroes

A new attraction in Castle Quay highlights the work of voluntary and community groups across Cherwell and gives people the chance to get involved and find out how to help others.

Cllr Dr Chukwudi Okeke, ward member for Banbury Cross and Neithrop; Cllr Les Sibley, chairman of Cherwell District Council; and Cllr Phil Chapman, portfolio holder for healthy communities at the official opening.
Cllr Dr Chukwudi Okeke, ward member for Banbury Cross and Neithrop; Cllr Les Sibley, chairman of Cherwell District Council; and Cllr Phil Chapman, portfolio holder for healthy communities at the official opening.

The pop-up space is next to the soft play area in the shopping centre and has been provided by Cherwell District Council so groups have a place to showcase their work and meet people for a conversation.

Cllr Phil Chapman, portfolio holder for healthy communities, said: “There are so many fantastic voluntary and community groups in Cherwell district. We are delighted to be offering, for the first time, a dedicated space where they can showcase their work to the public.

“The connections and relationships that we have within our communities are such a critical part of what makes us feel we are at home in an area, and sometimes discovering a new event, support service or volunteering opportunity makes all the difference, transforming our experience of where we live,” he added.

“This is a flexible and friendly space, which will offer something different throughout the course of the year but always current and relevant. I am really delighted by the excitement and support we have from our partners for this new initiative and can’t wait for local people to drop in and discover what it’s all about.”

Cllr Les Sibley, chairman of the district council, declared the space officially open at a special ceremony last Thursday, July 21 and the move has already been backed by partners such as Citizens Advice, Age UK and trading standards.

These three will all have a regular presence in the space, while a number of other groups such as Restore, Banbury Community Action Group and The Hill Community Centre are among the pop-up partners who will make special guest appearances.

The new space will be open during normal business hours and is located at unit 56 in Castle Quay.

Other voluntary and community groups are invited to contact the council to find out about opportunities to use the space either on a one-off or a regular basis. To find out more, email: [email protected]