Reopening the Dumfries gift shop
Our Dumfries gift shop on Munches Street has welcomed customers again after Covid closed its doors for two years. The shop has boasted an extensive makeover with its grand reopening, which has been carefully reassessed with service users and staff alike presenting and implementing new and different ideas that makes the shop fresh and vibrant.
Service users running the shop are from Change Mental Health’s Employability Support Project in Dumfries and Galloway, which provides opportunities for personal development and employability skills improvement through a combination of group work and one-to-one support for adults and young people who are affected by mental illness.
People who access the Employability Support Project have populated the shop with various new items for sale that they have recently created. Service users have also taken part in a new induction programme which has been set up for volunteers, including general retail training to run the shop.
The purpose of the shop has enabled the team at Munches Street to promote the Employability Support Project and Change Mental Health. It raises awareness of mental health in the community and, most importantly, has allowed those who access the service the opportunity to contribute and feel valued.
One service user said:
“It always gives you a sense of pride and satisfaction knowing that a member of the public came in and paid money for something I made.”
Many service users have contributed towards the shop, whether that be in the form of paintings, photography, crafts, needlework, general artwork, or by volunteering behind the counter. Profits from sales pay for improvements to the service building, such as upgraded art materials or new tables and lighting.
John Scott, Service Manager at the Employability Support Project at Change Mental Health, said:
“The shop gives us the opportunity to incorporate all the skills we are trying to help service users develop into the groups and activities we run. That includes attention-to-detail, meeting deadlines, problem-solving, decision-making, teamwork, and planning and organising.
“For staff, the rewards come when we get to tell a service user that something they have created has just been sold. It’s particularly great when tourists visit the shop and can’t get enough of the items on sale.”