A COMMUNITY coffee shop has won a national award for the work it has done to invest in its staff and volunteers.

North Curry Community Coffee Shop has received the Investing in Local People Award, sponsored by Suma Wholefoods, from national charity the Plunkett Foundation.

The café, which opened in 2006, is run as a community benefit society (CBS) and now uses an innovative points system which works as a volunteer reward scheme.

Each hour a volunteer works is rewarded with a point. Volunteers then nominate a charity to benefit from their volunteering.

The points are accumulated over a six-month period and the management committee decides how much surplus funds they can donate to charity.

Sheila Brown, from the North Curry Coffee Shop, said: “We are delighted, it is very prestigious.

"I’m sure that everyone involved in our coffee shop – all the volunteers –will be delighted as well.”

The Plunkett Foundation supports rural communities across the UK to tackle the issues they face through community business.

James Alcock, chief executive of the Plunkett Foundation, said: “It was innovation and true investment in local people which drew the judges towards North Curry Community Coffee Shop.

"Their impressive and well thought out points system is something to inspire its volunteers.

"I am very pleased that we have been able to celebrate the work of the community business by presenting them with the Investing in Local People Award.”

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WINNERS: Janet Bennett and Sheila Brown from the North Curry coffee shop

Nigekl Kaye, Suma Co-op member, said: “Suma are really proud to be involved the Plunkett Foundation’s Community awards for a fourth year, and this years’ entries were again inspiring and heart-warming.

"The Investing in Local People Award was especially tough with some great entries for the top award, but the North Curry Coffee Shop with its dedication and unique way of saying ‘thank you’ to its volunteers was the stand out entry.

"A points scheme which was both innovative and a great way to reward the volunteers and the community at the same time.

"Great thinking by North Curry Coffee Shop a well-deserved winner.”

The awards ceremony took place on November 27 at Burlington House in London. The winners were presented with a cheque for £250.