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Cellar Trust charity opens new shop in Shipley
5:29pm Wednesday 11th December 2013 in News
People with mental health problems will be able to learn new skills which could help them find a job, thanks to a charity shop with a difference.
Shipley-based mental health charity The Cellar Trust today opened a new shop in Shipley town centre where clients who are nearly ready to start looking for jobs can gain much-needed work experience and retail training.
People referred to the Trust by psychiatrists, mental health teams or GPs can first settle in by helping out in the shop’s store and once they have built up their confidence they will be working alongside staff and volunteers to run the shop itself.
Clients will also be able to work towards an NVQ in retail through Shipley College.
Cellar Trust chief executive Marilyn Beech said they worked with people with medium to severe mental health problems.
Some examples were obsessive behaviour, autism or Asperger syndrome, or anxiety and depression.
She said: “Sometimes people come to us when they are still very poorly, so we would start somebody off steaming or labelling or repairing – something they are comfortable with – two days a week.”
Mrs Beech said it was not just about getting people into jobs, and that the experience of working in itself was often therapeutic.
She said: “People are so used to saying work is a problem in our lives, but it can also be a solution.
“Sometimes people come and have had a traumatic time, but just getting them occupied doing something meaningful produces a recovery.”
Shop manager Joanne Radley joined the Trust last month from high-street giant H&M, and she said it had been important for the shop to look more like a commercial store than a charity shop to give clients the most useful work experience.
The shop, which officially opened on Kirkgate yesterday, has been given a £70,000 funding boost thanks to the Bradford District Association for Mental Health, which is giving money to organisations working with people with mental health issues, after it was forced to close its residential home earlier this year.
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