A COMMUNITY store has just celebrated its second year in business and a surge in profits after the villagers pooled together to buy the store.

Not only has Uley Community Stores (UCS) enjoyed its second birthday as a community-led enterprise, but it has also seen profits increase by 15 per cent.

The community store and Post Office was saved by residents in July 2012 when the owner decided to sell up and it has since contributed to a number of good causes in the villages of Uley and Owlpen with its takings.

To mark the second anniversary, UCS is launching a new canvas shopping bag and later hosting a party for the volunteers.

UCS committee chairman, Peter Randall, said: “The shop is a very important part of our local community and we are delighted that takings are increasing every month.

“Like all businesses profitability is the key to survival and growth, and we are really pleased that this is now our second profitable year.

“We also know that we can always do more to make the shop and Post Office better and we are constantly looking to see how we can improve in everything that we do.”

More than 60 volunteers regularly work two hour shifts in the store, seven days a week, with residents believing it has become a hub of the community, catering particularly to older residents who do not want to travel too far.

Cathy White was involved in the initial planning stages and manages most of the day-to-day operations, from coordinating volunteers to stock management.

“Miraculously we found enough volunteers from the start. All ages come in and feel part of a community.

“Every one of us has got to know many more people. And who doesn't like playing shop?”