The pop-up sweet shop

Following the floods, school children in Hebden Bridge have been helping the community get back on track by maintaining an important Friday tradition.

Pop-up sweet shop Pop-up sweet shop

Every Friday after school there’s a queue of children outside Something Sweet in Hebden Bridge, clutching 50p and waiting to buy a bag of tuppenny sweets. It’s an old-fashioned routine that’s typical of the fiercely community-focused Yorkshire town on the Rochdale Canal.

That community focus extends out to the children, aged between 7 and 12 and from a range of local schools, who set up a pop-up sweet shop to raise money for Something Sweet in the aftermath of the floods.

Ella, age 10
"I came to volunteer with my friend because I just really, really like helping out. I want to raise more money to restore the sweet shop and all the other shops. My mum’s a teacher and when it flooded she was upset because she did try to do as much as she could to prevent the water coming in. But all her planning was gone, weeks and weeks of planning. I just wanted to help. And we wouldn’t survive without the sweetshop."

Sarah, parent
"It’s a gesture. We’ve raised a hundred quid or something but it's more about showing Something Sweet that we care and that they’re important. The queue goes out of the sweet shop every Friday – it’s such a part of growing up here.

"They’re right next to the river so it’s very vulnerable. It flooded before. Also, they’ve had a hard time recently. The owner Bob Leedham died last year in a motorbike accident whilst on holiday with his wife, so they’re vulnerable and we just wanted to help.

"The kids spent hours putting all the sweets into bags, which they really enjoyed. A few disappeared. They've taken it in turns manning the stall, they’ve done the marketing and they've encouraged their friends to come along. They’ve liked the buzz of it and playing at being a shop keeper.

"The people who run Something Sweet are so lovely and they’re really good with the kids. One of them played Father Christmas in the school fair. They help out in the community so it's nice to show that we notice".

Alice, age 10
"We had to go to the sweet factory in Blackburn and we got loads of things donated by nice people, then we put them in bags. We made the signs and my dad designed the poster. A lot of people chose shops to help out – my other friend’s mum is helping out with the wool shop, but we decided to do the sweet shop. I don’t know if they know yet, but I think they’ll be happy."

Last date edited: 4 March 2016