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The Diocese of Carlisle helps launch a new community shop

A new community shop, providing low cost goods and which helps people get back into work, is to be officially opened in Workington.

The Diocese of Carlisle has helped develop the Salterbeck Op Shop, which will sell and recycle second hand goods and will be staffed by volunteers.
Anne Denwood, the shop’s manager said: “We will not compete with any other businesses serving the area, but aim to provide quality goods and services by and for local residents and be a local contact point for the community”.
Volunteers wanting to find paid employment can also gain experience and a reference, by working as part of the team.
Jon Greenwood, Op Shop Development Manager for Cumbria, is employed by the Diocese of Carlisle and has helped develop seven Op Shops and a warehouse in Carlisle.
He said: “We have many people who have felt isolated in their homes or who wanted to put something back into their community by becoming volunteers.
“Some have overcome depression; others have developed confidence and skills to get back into the labour market, all have made new friends by working alongside others on a shared task”.
The Archdeacon of West Cumberland, Ven. Richard Pratt, will officially open the new community shop on Thursday 24th January at 11am.
Op shops have a three-fold purpose:
• Business- providing a self-sustaining business model that provides low cost goods to the community. Our business motto is ‘re-cycle, re-use and re-sell’
• Community Support- responding to the expressed needs of each community to be met in practical ways
• Ministry- enabling people to encounter the church through its people rather than its buildings
Salterbeck Op Shop is the first in Cumbria outside Carlisle. The property has been leased from Impact Housing Association.
It will be open from 10am to 4pm on weekdays and 10am to 1pm Saturdays.
Op Shops were started in Carlisle through a single church initiative, which grew and was supported by the Diocese of Carlisle.
They are situated in communities where people live, rather than in town centres.
The Carlisle group has gifted the start-up costs of the Salterbeck shop, but the team hopes it will become self-sustaining.
In West Cumbria the plan has been developed through Churches Together groups.
Valerie Hallard, chair of the Workington & District group, said: “We held an open meeting in November at the empty premises we hoped to use and were delighted by the support we found for our vision.
“Members of several local churches were joined by local residents, councillors, Impact staff and Salterbeck Residents Association members. We feel really positive about this community and are looking forward to opening for business.”
Rev Julia Powley, priest-in-charge of Harrington Parish which includes Salterbeck, came to West Cumbria from Carlisle, where she had been actively involved in the original Op shop.
She said:“In my experience Op shops have made a real difference to the communities in which they operate. They show a different face of the church”.
Other areas of West Cumbria are being considered for further Op shops.

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