100th Community Shares Standard Mark presented during communities week

Suffolk-based Eden-Rose Community Ltd aims to raise £80,000 from the local community

The Community Shares Standard Mark – the ‘rubber stamp’ for community shares – has issued its 100th certificate, to a charity benefiting people with life-limiting conditions.

Launched in 2015, the Standard Mark was developed by the Community Shares Unit, run by Co-operatives UK and Locality, with early support from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It assesses and certifies the quality and viability of share offers and is presented to community share offers that meet national standards of good practice.

The 100th certificate was presented to Eden-Rose Community Ltd, a Suffolk-based charity, during Communities Week 2018 (10-17 September). The organisation aims to raise £80,000 from the local community to support its mission to use woodlands and the natural environment as a way to provide support to children and adults with life-limiting illnesses, such as cancer.

“We’re thrilled to find out that our forthcoming share offer received the 100th Standard Mark,” said Jo Brookes from Eden-Rose.

“Going through the Standard Mark process was crucial for our organisation as we develop out our community business offer to actively complement the front-line work of our charity.”

The charity is also receiving support from the Booster Programme, another scheme run by the Community Shares unit and backed by Power to Change. The Booster Programme provides development grants of up to £10k and invests equity of up to £100,000 to match community shares in societies that can demonstrate higher than average levels of community impact, innovation and engagement.

What are community shares?

Community shares are a way for communities to crowdfund to save, launch or develop enterprises, such as pubs or renewable energy projects, by investing often small sums of money and becoming co-owners in the process.

‘Community shares’ are a type of withdrawable share capital unique to co-operative and community benefit societies; this type of share capital can only be issued by co-operative societies, community benefit societies and charitable community benefit societies.

Since 2009, almost 120,000 people across the UK have raised more than £100m through community shares to save or create 350 local assets.

This week, Co-operatives UK also unveiled research showing that one in four people would invest money or time to help save a local community asset; 23% would be likely to invest to help save their local pub from closure, and they would give time and energy to help run other local assets such as a local park or public space (25%), historical site or building (24%), or cinema or theatre (16%).

“It’s so inspiring to see communities responding in such a proactive way to the challenges they face, and using community share offers to achieve their dreams,” said Ed Mayo, secretary general of Co-operatives UK.

“As well as helping to save and develop local assets, community shareholders become co-owners with an equal say in how the enterprise is run. We encourage other communities to be inspired by the likes of Eden-Community Limited. The support is out there – what can your community achieve together?”

  • Communities wanting to find out more or who are considering community share offers should contact [email protected]
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