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Shop boost for new work experience enterprise
VULNERABLE people will be able to gain work experience on their road to employment when the first shop of its kind in the country opens in Micklegate, York.
‘We are your emporium,’ which opens on April 4, a day before the Queen arrives at Micklegate Bar to distribute Maundy Money at the Minster, will enable a collective of social enterprises to trade through a shop front at 89 Micklegate – the first shop if its type in the country.
The emporium will showcase local, fairtrade and environmentally friendly products, with a shop in the front section, an art gallery in the middle room – with drop-in chair massages available – and hot-desk office space in the back room.
The courtyard at the back of the shop will have space for showing off plants and furniture produced by Brunswick Organic Nurseries and York Disabled Workers Cooperative.
The emporium will be run by 11 organisations that are either social enterprises or not-for-profit organisations: Brunswick Organic Nursery Ltd, Friends of St Nicholas Fields, The Retreat, the Wilberforce Trust, York Council for Voluntary Service (CVS), YUMI: York Unifying Multicultural Initiative, The Healing Clinic, Blueberry Academy, Creating Space For You, Magnetic Arts and York Disabled Workers Co-operative.
Natasha Almond, project manager for York CVS, thanked York Conservation Trust for providing the opportunity for the social enterprises to trade through a shop front, which she hoped would have a positive impact on sustaining local services to the most vulnerable in the community.
Lizzy Ferguson, involvement development worker at The Retreat, said opportunities for vulnerable people to return to work or gain work experience were few and far between.
“This project offers so many different people the chance to progress on their recovery journey and to acquire the skills and confidence they need to return to work,” she said.
The Emporium will be open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm.