Leyburn supermarket supports social enterprise

Annette Wise and Jonathan Barker from the Co-Op Leyburn.

A social enterprise has been chosen as one of the Co-Op’s local community fund partners for the Leyburn store.

Group Hug was founded by Jonathan Greenwood, and he aims to provide a safe space for people to “free their mind”, primarily via an app due to be released next Spring.

He is in the process of raising funds for the app.

During the first lockdown, Jonathan arranged for 1,836 goody bags to be delivered across the Dales to those in need and key workers.

Jonathan believes this partnership will make a significant difference to the growing social enterprise.

“I first approached the manager of the Leyburn Co-op with the idea of the Goody Bag project, with immediate effect he pledged his support and it gave me the confidence to go on and raise £5,000 and eventually deliver 1,836 Goody Bags.

“The Co-op is not just a local shop, it is a hub of local community and through our collective ideas, the Co-op and Group Hug can bring some great ideas to promote mental wellbeing and information, especially in these times.

“I look forward to working with the whole Co-op team moving forwards, we already know we can work and help each other, the past is proof of that.

Manager of the Leyburn Co-op store, Jonathan Barker added: “When Jonathan approached me with the idea of the Goody Bag project, I knew he was right and pledged the support of Co-op on behalf of myself, the management team and colleagues.

“It was so easy to decide, the Co-op is focused and I’m driven to help the local community with the emphasis on mental health and wellbeing, so jointly it was a perfect match for us to work together. “

As part of their fund-raising efforts, the social enterprise is working with several businesses around North Yorkshire with their ‘Send A Hug’ campaign and now has 82 business partners.