Tameside Methodist Church Charity Shop breaks new ground

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The Hyde and Denton Methodist group of Churches in common with many other charitable institutions have their own fund raising shop, the Helping Hand, located at 57 Market Street Hyde.

The shop is run and administered entirely by volunteers from both the churches and the local community. The difference with the Helping Hand as compared to many similar organisations is that the shop is focussed on both people in the community and fund raising. Both goals are achieved by selling donated items given by members of the local community and church members at extremely low and affordable prices and in addition the shop has for some time been a placement provider for unemployed people in liaison with Job Centre Plus. It has provided in house retail training for both ‘work experience’ candidates and volunteers alike and alongside of this young people are completing their Duke of Edinburgh Award Schemes.

The shop volunteers are proud of their success in seeing many trainee candidates move forward with renewed confidence and following a period of training many have found employment with various local companies.

Following on from this success at the end of January this year, an alliance was formed with Age UK Training, a major national training organisation. As both organisations share similar aims of helping unemployed local people back into work the partnership has opened up a whole new vista of opportunity. The Helping Hand is now a placement provider where trainees enjoy the full support of the volunteer work force in providing the tools, supervision and premises. Age UK arrange the funding when available along with City and Guilds Accredited facilitators to provide education and training on site. Both organisations are committed to helping raise educational standards and to providing an environment to prepare people both young and those more senior with the experience of working within a retail environment. The courses are free subject to availability of funds, as Age UK claim the funding from the European Social Fund.

It is unusual that two charities who share similar goals should work so closely together for the benefit of the people of the community that they serve. Both charities are committed to empowering people of all ages with the expertise and confidence to successfully find employment as well as fulfilling their other primary function, raising funds.

To aid and facilitate courses and to provide additional urgently needed space for the presentation of stock, the Helping Hand shop has recently undergone a series of improvements and is now better placed to offer an up to date retail training environment.

The shop continues to benefit from the tremendous support from the community who have also provided much needed donations to enable trainees and volunteers alike to experience a real hands on retail training experience.

The Helping Hand shop sells a vast range of goods donated by the community on behalf of the six Methodist Churches of Hyde and Denton. In its efforts to help the community the prices are kept as low as possible, for example prices for clothing start at an amazingly low price of only 30p and there are plenty of choices for the book, gift and fashion conscious.

Both charities, the Helping Hand and Age UK welcome donations and wish to take this opportunity to thank you for your invaluable ongoing support. The Helping Hand and the trainees would be most grateful for the supply of a computer to improve the training and job seeking opportunities for trainees as there old unit is struggling.

The Helping Hand are grateful for donations of: clothing for all ages, giftware, small electrical appliances including televisions, toys for children and babies, books, gift items in fact anything but as the premises are small they cannot handle large items of furniture. If in doubt please ask.

Would be volunteers are able to contact the shop to arrange an interview with the aim of either helping in the shop and/or improving or gaining new retail skills.

Unusually for a charity shop the Helping Hand has a Pastoral service always available from the church Deacon, this is available either in the shop or in a more private place of choice if preferred, alternatively, feeling lonely, just pop into the shop for a chat.
Opening hours are 10 until 4 Monday to Saturday.
Contact the shop is easy either by telephone: 0161-637-5152 e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Better still please call in.

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