Hear from Rachel Harban, Business Development Manager at Barnsley Council.
“I first heard about Alexandra Rose Charity and Rose Vouchers when I worked at the National Market Traders Federation (NMTF). From conversations there and with Jonathan Pauling from Alexandra Rose, I could see how important this charity is. I think the Rose Vouchers Project is a really good scheme, and I know it has helped our businesses at Barnsley Market stay present in people’s minds, with families giving regular custom to the traders.
Throughout Covid, our fresh food traders have remained open, thanks to word of mouth and ensuring people know the quality of food available at the market. It helped that families were still getting Rose Vouchers during this time as they came to the market knowing that they could spend their vouchers here. This also supported other food businesses.
One fruit & veg business, ‘5 a day’, stayed open the whole time. It goes to show that because Rose Vouchers were there, the families wanted to use them and support the small businesses, and the traders supported them. There is a strong sense of community in this market.
We work closely with the local family centres, and during Covid, a stall was set up in Barnsley Market to give out the Rose Vouchers. We all worked together. We’re going to keep this going with the family centres having a stall at the market once a month to give out the vouchers, meaning the families only need to make one journey to collect, then spend, their vouchers.
One single mum with a young child I spoke to told me the vouchers make a big difference. £3 a week can go a long way at the market.
The traders are very happy to take the vouchers. On the days the vouchers get handed out, they tend to see quite a bit of footfall. They’re getting new customers too because of the vouchers. This also benefits other businesses as families come into the market and see different things they need.
Rose Vouchers have helped raise awareness of the market in general and show families what they can get here. It’s a great footfall driver for us and encourages people to ‘shop local’.”