About York Supplies Community Society Ltd

York Supplies Community Society was created by a large group of diverse local people who love York Supplies and want to ensure it continues to serve our local community as it has since 1947.

In 2022, a significant number of customers of York Supplies expressed concern that the shop might be lost to the community upon the retirement of Jon and Jean Jaffa, the respected owners of the business since 1986.

A series of meetings were held in local venues and it was clear that there was enormous support for action to continue the business.

Customers were invited to an awayday to explore options and more than 20 came and it was decided that a community benefit society would be the best way of acquiring and running the business.

This was not a minor undertaking.  Following the awayday, interested customers were invited to come on to a committee of the York Supplies Action Group, which became the acting committee of the new Society.

Following an application to the Financial Conduct Authority, a rigorous process which included background checks on all of the committee, approval was obtained to create York Supplies Community Society Limited.

The Society launched a highly successful community share offer, and after a testing process was granted matching funding from the Government’s Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.  These funds enabled us to acquire York Supplies and begin to operate it on behalf of the local community.

The current acting directors will step down at the Society’s first annual general meeting of members on 11 July 2024.  Some will stand for re-election, and some will step down after making an enormous personal contribution over the last 18 months. 

We would like to sincerely thank the acting board members and the many volunteers who sacrificed a great deal of time and gave their expertise and experience to bring us to this point.

We would also like to thank the members of the Society, who trusted us with their investment to make this wonderful project a reality.  We never forget we hold member’s money in trust, and we are committed to delivering a successful future for York Supplies.

For now, the Action Group Steering Committee consists of:

Richard Bickle: Birmingham resident for eighteen years, with wide experience of his family’s former hardware shop in Cornwall, and over twenty-five years of working with co-operatives and social enterprises. Contributes particular skills around Third Sector governance and management.

Richard Kimberlee is our Membership Secretary. He has lived in Moseley since 2002. He was the Treasurer of Moseley Forum from 2017-23. His background is working as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of thee West of England (Bristol). He is a founder steering group committee member of the international Social Prescribing Network.

Dominik Brotherton: (communications): life-long Birmingham resident, microbiologist and grassroots activist contributing wide-ranging skills in collaborative working, health and safety, legal requirements, ensuring accountability, grant writing, graphics and generally making things happen.

Dominique Holmes (treasurer): moved to Kings Heath more than twenty years ago, accountant and currently finance manager for a national charity, with thirty years of business experience at Waterstones, small businesses and co-ops. Contributes accountancy skills and business knowledge.

Danielle Joseph: four years in Kings Heath, with heavy involvement in community projects, charities and volunteering, and ten years as an NHS manager, now also raising a young family. Contributes skills in governance and several types of management.

Birgit Kehrer (vice-chair): Kings Heath (and York Road!) resident for over twenty years, founder and CEO for twelve years of a community interest company supporting people back to work and pursuing positive social and environmental goals, with youthful experience of working in the family shop. Contributes business planning and strategic skills, and understanding of diversity issues.

Sush Kelly (communications – non voting): moved from Moseley to Kings Heath in 2007, a designer/developer who is involved in several community projects. Contributes IT and social media communication, design and development skills.

Philip ‘Oz’ Osman: has lived in Kings Heath for nearly thirty years, carpenter with longstanding involvement in many local voluntary organisations. Contributes local knowledge and connections, and astute questions.

Naomi Standen (chair): Kings Heath resident since 2011, recovering academic with a shopkeeping upbringing, now developing a long suppressed practical side by building things for house and garden with reused materials, and transitioning into a green second career. Contributes facilitation, grant application and writing skills.

Donald Steel (secretary): Kings Heath resident for thirty years, former radio presenter and BBC spokesman now running his own public relations company. Contributes communications skills and networks, and business knowledge.

With your help the committee aims to establish the York Supplies Community Co-op, which we believe will go from strength to strength.

We need your help!

To get involved please sign up to our mailing list and come along to our next market stall.

Our community share offer launched on Friday 21 July! We hope you will consider buying a stake in the future of the shop for as little as £100.