Charity shop and training centre opens for business

Town Mayor Caroline Topping opens the new Asperger Syndrome charity shop in Beccles.

Town Mayor Caroline Topping opens the new Asperger Syndrome charity shop in Beccles. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A new training centre and shop for the Asperger East Anglia charity was opened at Beccles on Friday.

The Norwich-based charity, which was founded 17 years ago, provides services across Norfolk and Suffolk and aims to help improve confidence, independence and employability of people affected by Asperger syndrome.

Chairman and founder of the charity, Marcella Olive, said: “The shop and employment project here in Beccles is a very important development for us.

“We look forward to providing an excellent service to our local community and helping people affected by AS to lead fulfilling lives.”

The shop in Market Street, Beccles, will sell a wide range of goods.

Service users at the centre will refurbish computers, repair and test electrical items, restore furniture and use wood and other crafts to make items which will be sold in the shop along with donated items.

The new shop and training centre was opened by the Mayor of Becces, Caroline Topping.

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“I am delighted to be able to open this excellent shop and training centre here in Beccles.

“It has a beautiful shop front and the services it provides are so important and, I am sure, will prove to be a wonderful asset for Beccles.”

Managers and staff at the centre thanked all the companies, organisations and individuals who have given their support with donations or offers of help.

“I have high hopes for the future of this shop. I am confident it is going to be a real asset to Asperger East Anglia.

“How can it not be with such a dedicated bunch of people that run it?” said Ms Olive.

Asperger syndrome (AS) is an autistic spectrum condition which is characterised by difficulties with social communication, interaction and a lack of emotional empathy.

The new centre at Beccles will be working with young people with AS to provide support when they leave school and move onto further education or employment.

Donations will be greatly appreciated and can be dropped off at the shop. Anyone interested in volunteering in the shop or workshop can call 01502 715500.