As retailers succumb to a tough economic climate, disability charity Scope is bucking the trend and continuing to expand its retail chain in areas including Harrogate.
All Scope’s new shops are funded by an innovative scheme that allows charitable donations to go further by giving people the chance to invest in these new stores.
Instead of directly donating to the charity’s work on the ground with disabled people and their families, generous donors can loan or donate £50,000 to open a new shop.
Each shop then generates as much as £30,000 a year, which Scope can use as a source of on-going funding for its work. That also means within two years a loan can be paid back.
New Scope shops are being opened in towns across the country. These include a brand-new shop at 34 Beulah Street in Harrogate, which was officially opened at 9am yesterday (Friday, 9 August 2013), by Andrew Jones, MP.
Andrew Jones MP, said:
Scope provides an incredible service for disabled people and their families offering practical support and advice.
It is a cause I am enthusiastic to support and I am delighted to have been invited to officially open the new Scope shop in Harrogate. Having supported Scope in the past, I know the great work that the charity does.
The shop will be an asset to the community and provide bargain hunters with somewhere to purchase unique items, as well as giving people the chance to build their retail and social skills through volunteering.
I wish the shop and its staff every success and look forward to visiting in the future to support the ongoing work of Scope with disabled people and their families.
Andrew Adair, Director of Retail at Scope, added:
Our shops have been a real success story. We are very excited about expanding and helping breathe life into areas when many shops are closing and high streets are being stripped bare.
In tough times the shops bring in regular, predictable income for Scope’s work with disabled people, but they also give us more of an opportunity to get our message out in the community by offering a chance for people to engage with disability, and find out more about our work.
Scope’s 250 charity shops provide a chance for people to volunteer and develop social skills, as well as gaining retail experience. Some of the charity’s shops also offer volunteers the chance to gain an official and free retail qualification.
As well as funding other shops, the income from the new retail stores will continue to provide enough money to, for example, support 60 families a year through Scope’s Face 2 Face network, which provides peer-to-peer support for families with newly diagnosed disabled children.
The shop is being managed by Sue Lynch. Sue has been with Scope for 5-years and was previously at their Knaresborough branch.
Store Manager, Sue Lynch said:
The shop will raise money for the work of Scope to gain equality for people with disability.
We also take on people with disabilities as volunteers – this can help build their confidence greatly.
But in simple terms, it is my job to put money in the till, and to do that we appreciate all donations to the shop.
Scope has been trialling the innovative fundraising initiative since last year with expert guidance from Richard Bradbury. Richard, who is the former Chief Executive of River Island, is one of the charity’s patrons.
As well as the official opening, the new Harrogate shop will also be holding a volunteer open day from 10am to 3.30pm on Thursday August 15. Anyone who is interested in volunteering is welcome to come along and find out more.