Young people getting the chance to gain skills for work at the Hamlet

Young people getting the chance to gain skills for work at the Hamlet

A training facility which provides invaluable work experience for young adults with additional needs has celebrated the opening of its latest outlet.

The Hamlet, which was developed by staff from Hope School, is now offering a range of day-to-day products for residents, priced at no more than 50p.

Located at the former ranger’s cottage at the popular nature spot in Bryn, “The Woodland Mini Market” is the latest strand to the facility with “The Nest Cafe” and “Lakeside Printing” already two of the services already established.

Now in its third year of operating, the innovative project aims to not only make a massive difference to the young adults with disabilities and learning differences but also provides a much-needed resource to the wider community.

Gemma Crompton, head of provision at the Hamlet, was a teacher at Hope School and asked Wigan Council about leasing the building after spotting the need to ensure some of the young adults could move into the world of work with more practical experiences which would be beneficial for potential employers.

She said: “The shop gives the trainees another outlet to run where they can get experience taking stock, serving customers and ordering products.

“It’s amazing to see them grow as people, the confidence and self-esteem they get from working here is immeasurable, regular customers have commented about how much the trainees have progressed in the time they have coming.

“Personally, it’s a pleasure to be here helping them on their journey, it’s a very happy place to work.”

The mini-market opening has also been supported through Brighter Borough funding from Coun Jenny Bullen and Coun Anthony Sykes.

Coun Bullen, Wigan Council’s cabinet member for young people and children, said: “I would like to thank everyone involved from the very start including staff from Hope School and College for seeing the potential to open a facility which can be of benefit to so many people.

“It was great to go along and see it for myself. The trainees were incredibly professional and have put their skills into practice. I would encourage local residents to see it for themselves if they haven’t already.”

Food for the shop has been provided by Fur Clemt, an organisation which makes edible surplus food available to the community through its cafes and food sharing outlets.

With the onsite café not being open to customers inside due to covid-19, the Hamlet is in the process of erecting an outside marquee which can cater for people who are wanting to grab a coffee or confectionary. It’s hoped the marquee will be up and running in a few weeks time.

The non-for-profit centre is continually looking for support from companies or groups that are in a position to do. Please email g.crompton@thehamletwigan.co.uk if you feel like you can help.

The mini market is open Monday to Friday, 9.30am - 2.30pm.

Posted on Friday 2nd October 2020
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