One of the primary purposes of Active Prospects’ newly opened charity shop is to provide people supported by the organisation with the opportunity to develop skills for employment. In turn, the skills gained will provide them with a greater chance of paid employment in the future.
Nine supported volunteers are now working successfully in the charity shop, working a couple of shifts a week with support from staff.
Jane Sellers, who is regularly supported by staff from Community Prospects and has a visual impairment, is one of the volunteers. She says: “Working in the charity shop is very different from anything I’ve done previously. I worked for 15 years in banking prior to leaving in 2002 due to my progressive eye condition. I then spent ten years not working, before setting up my own business producing braille documents, letters, agendas, minutes etc for a number of local organisations. Whilst I still do this now, the charity shop has given me the chance to do something new, which I am very much enjoying. It is really enhancing my life and giving me the opportunity to meet new people.
“I was really pleased to work with the Shop Manager last week to Braille the keys on the till. This week, I’ve been able to serve on the till for the first time, which is something I never thought I’d do. I’m exceeding my own expectations which is really positive!”.
Well done Jane – what a fabulous story!