EBCS Management Committee

Most shops operate as companies making money for the owners or shareholders. Community businesses operate for the benefit of the community they serve rather than for profit and have a different legal structure. We are members of the Plunkett Foundation who advise community businesses.


Following expert advice from the Plunkett Foundation, our community shop was set up as a Community Benefit Society (CBS) in October 2020. Most community shops opt for this structure.


As a CBS we are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority and are listed on their Mutuals' Public Register as well as on Companies House. We are governed by a set of rules based on the Plunkett Foundation's recommended model.

Public Meetings

Public meetings were held 8th (Zoom) and 11th July (Village Hall).

If you missed them you can view slideset here


I was brought up in the New Forest. Having worked in London on Vogue and Tatler magazine I then helped my husband start his food business and ran a deli on Quay Hill, Lymington in the 80’s. We’ve lived in Brockenhurst, Beaulieu and Lymington. I was a District Councillor for 12 years with the New Forest District Council sitting on the planning committee. I was also a Town Councillor for Lymington and Mayor for two years up until my husband died and I moved to East Boldre.

One of the deciding factors to buy my property was the village shop. We are so lucky to have a shop and I will do all that I can to help keep it.

Mike Hawker

I’ve lived in East Boldre for 35 years. A Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience as a chief executive in major retail organisations. Currently a non-executive/trustee in the health, education and charity sectors.

The shop is a vital asset providing a point of focus in a linear village. A post office selling newspapers, sweets and tobacco has evolved into a  ‘village store’ picking up the slack left by the closure of the nearby general store about 30 years ago. A convenience for some and a lifeline for others.

Rebecca Gabzdyl

An electronic engineer with over 15 years of project and programme management experience. .

Volunteering in the shop has been a great way to really feel a part of our community and has shown me what an important social as well as practical amenity the shop is. Last year's lockdown showed clearly how, with ingenuity and a lot of hard work, Ian's shop could respond very quickly in a crisis. Ian, Val and Jo have been kind, patient and taught me so much.


I’ve moved to East Boldre in recent years. I have significant experience of administrative roles from my professional career in the retail and finance industries and later working for the NHS.


I am keen to get involved and make a contribution to the community.  Becoming part of the Village Shop team seemed like a perfect opportunity and I am passionate that we continue to have this great asset in our village.


I have had a wide ranging career including 16 years commissioned military service, 10 years teaching, 4 years in industry and 13 years in the NHS.  Now retired, I have a number of voluntary posts some of which challenged me personally and gave me exposure to different cultures, lifestyles and expectations. I also work for SSAFA, the armed forces charity.

I am married to Sarah and we are very happy to have recently moved to East Boldre. Recently we were delighted to become grandparents. I look forward to participating in our local community and in particular, the Community Shop project.

Libby Duignan

Growing up in Sowley in the 1970s, I have used East Boldre Post Office and  Stores for my whole life. Having completed my teacher training this year, I will be starting a full time teaching job in September. I live locally with my family and love the Forest which has always been my home.

In 2017 I set up the Save our Shop campaign with 3 other local ladies and the support of the local community, we promoted  awareness surrounding the difficult issues facing East Boldre Stores and Post Office and its potential closure.