In a sudden major blow to Pembroke Dock and the local area, Pembrokeshire REFILL announced in the past few days that it would be closing its door for the final time on Thursday, March 28.

Designed by the team at Pembrokeshire FRAME with almost entirely repurposed materials, the shop opened on October 28, 2022 with then mayor Cllr Pamela George cutting the ribbon on the fresh and distinctive shop which was also home to a new Community Fridge.

Pembrokeshire REFILL was designed to make sustainable, healthy, chemical-free shopping easy. These much needed ventures shared the common goal of reducing waste, whilst providing supported training and work opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities or mental health issues.

The shop was established with help from a £25,000 grant from The Sustainable Development Fund managed by Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, £10,000 funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and £2,500 from Pembroke Dock Town Council. The Bluestone Foundation donated £900 towards the cost of setting up the Community Fridge.

In April 2023, Pembrokeshire REFILL saw the launch of the Pembroke Dock Food Hub - offering fresh vegetables from a local supplier - with a cooking demonstration by Corinne Cariad. Corinne added seaweed from Angle beach to her spiced bean stew having been inspired by a foraging course with National Laverbread Day founder Jonathan Williams. The event had been organised in partnership with PLANED and Wales Community Food Distribution.

But on March 26, the shop made the following announcement on their Facebook page:

“It is with great regret and sadness that we must share with you that the Board of Pembrokeshire FRAME Ltd have made the decision to close Pembrokeshire REFILL. 

For the past 19 months we have tried very hard to make the shop self sustaining but unfortunately we must as a charity, like any other business, make difficult decisions regarding our viability.

In the beginning, a small team of support workers and volunteers worked hard to create a beautiful, inviting space that we were all very proud of. Since then our amazing little team has worked tirelessly to welcome our community and share less-wasteful lifestyle options with you. We have very much enjoyed meeting you and swapping sustainable tips with you.

A massive thank you to everyone who has supported this little shop with a big dream; we feel very honoured that you have made us a part of your sustainable journey.”