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DISC Sets Up Community Shop in Newton Aycliffe for the Day


On Friday 9th August, DISC opened a community shop in Newton Aycliffe for the day to promote DISC and its services to the community. The shop, situated in the town centre around the main shopping square, was decorated with DISC banners and balloons to entice the public inside. Within the shop leaflets and free goodies, including LGBT stress balls, wrist bands and lollies were available. DISC staff representing different projects were available for people to chat to and to give them information about DISC and their projects.

Many of DISC’s projects were represented with stalls for Horizon, Platform, Children, Young People and Families, Independent Living, LGBT, Smart Recovery and GOALS. Members of the public were offered tea and coffee whilst chatting to the staff or perusing the stalls, learning more about DISC and how it helps the local community.

One man was interested in the furniture scheme for his daughter who had just moved into social housing and needed affordable furniture. DISC has established the scheme as a social enterprise where furniture is donated, cleaned and upscaled before being sold on at an affordable price. A young man who was looking for work became interested in volunteering at one of DISC’s new housing projects. A woman was very concerned about her adult son’s use of drugs and took leaflets to give to her son. She commented, “I’m glad the service and support is there for him if he wants it.” A member of the staff commented, “Everyone who comes into the shop knows someone who would benefit from DISC’s services.”

Mark Blyth, a project worker at DISC, organised the event and spoke enthusiastically about the day, “the aim is to promote DISC by targeting the community itself. We ask people what they want out of the community. If someone has an idea that they want to see implemented, we see if we can support the idea through social enterprises or provide it through our projects ourselves.”

Mark explained that the community shop was a great way to get referrals into the service and also volunteers who wanted to help their local community. “Jay, a young person in the service, helped clean and set the shop up the day before.” Chloe, an apprentice for the LGBT project, also manned the LGBT stall for the day. The shop was a hit and at the end of the day Mark said “I hope to set up the community shop again. It has really helped DISC to interact with the local community and for the community to discover who DISC are and how they can help.”

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The Front Window of the Community Shop

The Front Window of the Community Shop Enlarge

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