Become a Member of The Boundary!
Here you will find all the information you need to invest in shares in order to support and have your say in how the Boundary is run and to benefit from its success.
St Mary Bourne Shop and Cafe Limited is a Community Benefit Society trading as The Boundary. Registered Number 8846.
Our parish has a strong sense of community and a proven track record in raising funds for community projects. The most recent is the Society’s share offer to raise £250,000 to fund the extension and improvement of our village shop and the addition of a community café. With a fantastic response to the community share offer, building work was able to start on schedule in July 2022. Thanks to the sterling efforts of a number of volunteers supplementing the work of the professionals involved, the opening of the new and improved shop and café took place at the start of December as planned. A shining example of what can be achieved through enthusiasm, hard work and community support.
The village shop had previously traded for 20 years as a community interest company but in order to raise funds for the project through a community share offer, the company converted to a community benefit society. The Society was registered on 5 April 2022 and the first Management Committee steered the Society through the raising of the finance for the project and the completion of the build and equipping of the extended and improved premises. The Society trades as “The Boundary” and it has a website. Click here to be taken to The Boundary website.
On registration the Society adopted Rules that set out how the Society is owned, organised and governed. The Rules can be found here.
A community benefit society is a member owned organisation that seeks to provide benefits for the community and membership is at the heart of the enterprise. The community share-offer generated 252 members and the current membership stands at 253, both individuals and organisations. The strategy is to continue to grow the membership and encourage members to participate in a number of ways, from simply using and enjoying the improved shop and new café to volunteering or serving on the Management Committee.
The Society is a democratic organisation run by a Management Committee elected by, and drawn from, the membership. Each member has one vote regardless of the number of shares owned.
Benefits of Membership
Membership allows local people to have a say in how The Boundary is run and to benefit from its success. Each member has a vote at members’ meetings (including on the election of the Management Committee) and so has a say in how the Society is run and can help decide how profits are distributed, which may include investing in the enterprise or donating to other community projects.
Membership Criteria and How To Apply
Membership is open to anyone 16 years old and above (and shares may be bought by an adult on behalf of anyone younger than that). Members do not need to live in the parish, and we already have members outside it.
The price per share is £25 and there is a minimum holding of 1 share (£25) and a maximum of 1,000 shares (£25,000).
Communication, Promotion and Engagement
In order to keep members engaged and to attract new members, good communication is essential. The main methods of communication with the community in general are:
- the manager’s monthly column in the parish magazine, Hill & Valley;
- advertising on the premises;
- staff and volunteers talking to customers;
- information on The Boundary website;
- advertising on Facebook and Instagram pages;
- being represented at village events, particularly drinks events for new villagers.
In addition, members are invited to members’ meetings and member-only events and can request access to minutes of members’ and management committee meetings. Most members have provided email addresses, so this is another avenue of communication with most of them. Members can also promote membership to others themselves.
These methods can be used to get the message out that the enterprise is community owned and open to all.
Members should be encouraged to play an active role in the enterprise. They can be involved in decision making through attending the AMM, receiving financial and other information from the Management Committee, electing or being elected to the Management Committee and having a say on the treatment of profits.
This is another way to bring in new members and encourage existing members to get more involved in the success of the enterprise. Volunteers tend to care greatly about the cause they are supporting and are good at spreading the word. Volunteering is also often a rewarding way for people (new and established) to get to know others in the community and enjoy being part of a vibrant workforce. Training for volunteers helps to manage expectations and clarify roles and appreciation for volunteers can be shown with occasional events or trips. Training is supported by the volunteer handbook which contains all relevant health and safety, licensing and other rules and guidance.
Monitoring Membership Strategy
At each AMM the state of the Society’s membership will be reviewed by looking at a number of things, including:
- the number of members
- the value of the share capital
- the number of members recruited during the year
- the number of volunteers & number of volunteer members
- the number of Management Committee members
- methods of communication with members and non-members
- any distribution of profits
Further information is available on the Boundary Website and any of the Management Committee can be contacted to answer any of your questions.
St Mary Bourne Shop and Cafe trading as The Boundary