‘Inspiring’ time for local charity

The Inspire...By charity shop opening in Stonehaven a year ago
The Inspire...By charity shop opening in Stonehaven a year ago

A charity that supports adults with learning disabilities and additional support needs, including autism, has marked the first anniversary of its charity shop and day service in Stonehaven.

Inspire...By, on Allardice Street, was its second such establishment in the North-east when it opened last year, following in the footsteps of a hugely successful service in Huntly which opened in 2016.

The innovative model successfully combines employability-focused daily support services for local people with learning disabilities with the fundraising potential of a charity shop, with the Stonehaven premises officially opening on November 30 last year.

Inspire chief executive Linda Gray said: “We believe that the Inspire…By model is the modern blue-print for day service provision for people with learning disabilities and additional support needs in the North-east.

“We are delighted that the shop in Stonehaven has been so warmly received and well supported by the local community so far.

“Our weekly Wednesday coffee morning, with home bakes prepared by those supported in the service has been a big hit. We have been inundated with donations of the goods for sale in the shop and the people we support have been warmly welcomed when out and about doing their regular litter-picks and beach clear-ups.”

The service currently supports 13 local people with additional support needs and employs seven staff.

It is also currently a drop-off point for Northsound Radio’s Mission Christmas campaign where members of the public can donate gifts to be distributed to those children in local communities who may not otherwise receive presents this festive period.

Linda added: “The first 12 months of operation in Stonehaven have been fantastic, and our Huntly shop also continues to go from strength to strength.

“We are keen to grow the Inspire...By model in 2020, both in terms of how many local people we support within the services but also by opening up in other geographical locations – so watch this space.”

Inspire is also currently recruiting for support workers across the North-east.

The charity provides a range of services for adults with learning disabilities and additional support needs, including autism, in a variety of settings in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Moray and Angus.