Celebrations were in full store this week as a pop up shop offering people the chance to buy exciting produce created by local people officially opened to the public.
W & B United Enterprises Pop Up Shop is a collaboration between Woodlands Meed college enterprise students and The Burnside Centre in Burgess Hill.
It was officially opened in The Martlets in Burgess Hill by councillor Colin Trumble, chairman of Mid Sussex District Council, who cut the ribbon.
A spokesman said: “There was some celebration and speeches before councilor Colin Trumble officially cut the ribbon to open the shop and then it was down to business for the students from Woodlands Meed college and the people from The Burnside Centre, looking after customers and making sales, as well as promoting the shop to passers by.
“The joint venture is collaboration between local Special educational needs and disability (SEND) provisions, Burnside and Woodlands Meed, intended to showcase not just the fantastic creative and practical skills of the people involved, but as an example of partnership working at its best; with both services working towards common goals of community presence, inclusion and celebrating diversity.
“It is hoped that this is just the start of similar projects going forward and that both provisions will be able to build on the success of the pop up shop to create more opportunities for people with SEND.”
The name for the venture and logo was all created by Woodlands Meed college students and people at The Burnside Centre and their slogan of ‘Be the Future’ is a testimony to the importance of taking an inclusive approach in the workplace to those with SEND and learning disabilities.
Enterprises forms part of the bespoke learning programme at Woodlands Meed College and a significant part of the activities offer at The Burnside Centre.
Students have the opportunity to take an active part in a variety of enterprises to learn skills and build experiences relevant to the work place.
Horticulture, up cycling furniture, textile and wood crafts, card making and cooking, provide produce that students are able to market and sell to be able to fund further activities.
“Burnside is an innovative service, offering a range of dynamic, person-centred activities that encourage people to build links and social networks within their local community, whilst developing independence in their home,” said a spokesman.
“We are passionate about the service we provide, and work with people to support their views to live the lives they choose.
“Everyone who attends has agreed outcomes in-line with their personal ambitions and wishes; focusing on their individual skills, abilities, gifts and talents.!
Woodlands Meed College students are supported in the development of their own decision-making abilities, nurturing the skills that will support their own sense of confidence and empower them to reach their individual aspirations and meet the challenges ahead, said the spokesman.
With a future in further education or their broader working lives, Woodlands Meed provides a bespoke learning programme for each student, within a highly supportive community with the focus firmly on their individual growth towards successful and confident adulthood.
It believe everyone deserves their own opportunity to truly thrive, enjoy the satisfaction of building confidence and look forward to their own unique future.
Future projects to develop its college enterprises include producing a local information magazine which is written, designed and produced by the students and sold locally to fund the next editions, said a spokesman.
Showcasing the abilities and talents of those with special needs, it is hoped local businesses will support this venture and benefit from advertising or promotional articles written by the students to be included in the publication.
If you are a local business who might like to get involved with this project please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org.