College and charity are clothes shop dream team

PUBLISHED: 07:00 17 May 2014

Smart casual

Smart casual

Archant

AN INNOVATIVE collaboration between a college and a charity has seen the creation of a student project with a difference.

Hospice 25Hospice 25

A new shop has opened in Weston’s town centre which provides work experience for young people to gain skills in retail.

The Shop Upstairs is a student-run scheme in High Street which also offers discounted fashion for teens and young adults.

Weston College and Weston Hospicecare have joined forces to open the shop, which is managed by students with support from the hospice, and all proceeds are used for the care of people with life-limiting illnesses.

Outfits can be purchased for as little as £10 and the range includes high street labels as well as vintage pieces.

Shop volunteer Stacey Blackmore said: “There are loads of little gems in here that go perfectly with my wardrobe essentials like black leggings, mini-skirts and skinny jeans.

“I’ve bought quite a lot of things myself since I started volunteering so a lot of what I wear on the shop floor is from here. I’m a walking advert for the shop.”

As well as clothing, the shop stocks fancy dress, text books and essential kitchen starter kits for first homes and student accommodation.

The shop also offers a 10 per cent discount on all purchases with a valid NUS card.

The majority of the volunteers in store are students who are all looking for vital work experience to give them an edge when they leave college.

Stacey, aged 22, said: “I was looking for experience in retail and went round several charity shops in the town.

“This one was different because it was opened with young people in mind. It’s more modern and I can work with other people my age to gain the skills I need.

“I’m studying beauty therapy and hope one day to work in a salon or the make-up department of a large store, so it’s really important for me to have experience in this sort of environment.”

Volunteer roles are currently available ,and the shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9.30am-4.30pm.

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