Stoke Gifford shop owners recognised with BBC community award

A husband and wife team who run a shop at ExtraCare’s Stoke Gifford Retirement Village are delighted to have taken home a BBC Radio Bristol Make a Difference award.

Photo of three people at an award presentation.
BBC Radio Bristol ‘Make a Difference’ award winners Lucy and Richard Smith, pictured with presenter James Hanson (left).

Lucy and Richard Smith, owners of Your Village Shop, found themselves shortlisted for the BBC community awards after going out of their way to run an autism- and neurodiverse-friendly shop in the village.

The awards celebrate the stories, heard day-after-day, of people going above and beyond to make a real difference in their community.

At a ceremony held on Weston Grand Pier on 30th September 2022, the pair were delighted to be recognised with the Together award – “for an individual or group of people who create real change by breaking down barriers and bringing together people from different walks of life for a common cause”.

Your Village Shop caters to those who may face difficulties performing their daily shop and eliminates obstacles for them whilst also offering a unique work experience scheme. To keep the shop neurodiverse-friendly the lighting is subtle; shelves are not too high or over-stacked; there is no music or background noise; there are wider aisles; items are not moved out of place; and lines are kept simple.

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care.

All staff have inclusion and diversity training, and many are neurodivergent themselves or know how to support people who are. The shop works with Inclusive Change At Work CIC, a social enterprise, to deliver a work experience programme for autistic and neurodivergent young people and adults called iWork2. The programme is funded by the National Lottery, Quartet Community Foundation and South Gloucestershire Council’s Learning Disabilities Development Fund. Currently there are four young people who are taking part in the programme and they will either work in the shop or help to create online content.


Shop owner Lucy Smith comments:

“We are overwhelmed to win the ‘Together’ award. As parents of autistic teenagers, we wanted to do something to make a difference in the workplace and we are so excited to now be able to develop our business to help the next generation of employees.”

“We are part and parcel of the community here at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village. We have a brilliantly strong relationship with the residents and staff here. This award is for everyone who believes in us, supports us, works, and shops with us. Because of you we really are making change happen.”

Stoke Gifford and Little Stoke A-Z directory of trades and services.

Steve Fielding, lifestyle manager and interim village manager at Stoke Gifford Retirement Village commented:

“We’re very proud to work with Lucy, Rich, and their entire team, who have made a huge difference to the lives of our residents and the local community since setting up almost two-and-a-half years ago.”

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