Local shop achieves national recognition for supporting community cohesion

13 May 2015

Second Chance on Ladypool Road Sparkbrook, has been awarded a £2,000 prize after nominations from across the UK were invited for the annual Faith in Action awards.

Shop manager Carol Scott and her daughter, Claire Gunnell, were presented with the award at the Congregational Federation Assembly held in Peterborough on Saturday 9 May. The awards, sponsored by national church insurer Congregational & General, recognise the efforts of churches that establish social initiatives within their local community.

Tim Bateman, Elder at Ladypool Road Congregational Church commented: "Everyone at Second Chance is delighted to receive this prize and I want to highlight the hard work of all who help out in the shop. We want to improve the accessibility to the shop by changing the door to be more wheelchair and baby buggy friendly. The money from the prize will go towards this and hopefully there will be enough to increase the amount of storage space".

Second Chance, which is owned by the Ladypool Road Congregational Church, occupies a good street position within a multicultural community. It relies on donations and provides a base for recycling of clothing, furniture, household goods, toys, books, CDs DVDs and bric-a-brac at very modest prices. The majority of clients live within the locality of the shop and some travel from further afield. In addition to being a thriving retail environment, it has also become a point of contact for some members of the local community who might otherwise feel excluded.

Congregational & General Insurance Marketing Manager, Margaret Slater, said: "We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives such as "Second Chance" that really make a difference and unite people. I feel the success lies in the fact that this shop isn't just about helping those in material need; it is about giving to anyone who needs support in the community."

Rev Adrian Burr, Chair of the Congregational Federation Mission and Society Committee and a member of the judging panel commented: "The standard of entries for this year's awards was high, and each of the prize winning organisations have made a real impact in their local area. We are absolutely delighted that so many impressive, projects have grown out of local congregations and we're proud to provide "Second Chance" with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue this important work within the community."