What is SOLD?
SOLD – Shoreham opportunities for Learning Differences is a training hub based in our High Street shop in Shoreham-by-Sea.
We offer purposeful & meaningful work experience to adults with learning differences in a realistic shop setting.
Our aim is that the adults who train with us furnish themselves with a whole range of work related skills that they can take onto future placements & ultimately achieve the goal of paid employment. For many of the individuals we train this is their first experience of any sort of work so we offer a very supported environment to get them started on their job journey. Beyond training in specific retail related skills i.e. till use, customer service, stock management, display etc., we also encourage our trainees to acquire general work based skills such as time-keeping, team playing, problem solving, self reliance, and more.
We are based on the classic charity shop format but the inclusive nature of our set up makes us very unique. All trainees are customer facing & on the shop floor, actively engaged in purposeful activity. Our main premise is to recognise them as individuals, meet their needs but challenge them to develop new, transferrable skills in a stimulating & supportive environment in order to have the opportunity to realise their true potential. As the shop is a safe & friendly space with a vibrant atmosphere it creates an effective and rewarding learning environment for them to flourish in.
Being in the heart of our town centre, our busy shop gives adults with learning differences a highly visible profile & positive presence in Shoreham-By-Sea. SOLD has become a well known, significant part of the local community both for what it does and what it represents. The community has been able to enjoy a positive experience of ‘disability’ and hopefully re-evaluate any previous, possible prejudices. We take part in as many local events as possible such as festivals & local sporting events to continually raise our profile but also to have fun of course!
As some of our long-term trainees have demonstrated amazing artistic & creative abilities, we have set-up the SOLD studio. This showcases their talents in a range of products we now sell in store – from cards & cushions to mugs and prints. The sense of achievement & self-worth this affords the individuals is immeasurable, coupled with a hefty cut of the profits!
Intertwined with the training is our green ethos. We endeavour to re-use & re-purpose as much as we possibly can before re-cycling. If you look around the shop you will see evidence of this throughout, from cereal packets cut up for our pricing labels to our free trolley outside! The shop itself is packed both due to the generous donations we receive in order to support the project, but also because we see re-usable value in almost everything – you will be hard pressed to not find what you want here & we would be disappointed if you didn’t!
Our window displays are the talk of the town! We like to think outside the box and create little showstoppers to make you stop and stare involving many & varied mannequin usage!
We hope we live up to our mantra – “a charity shop with a difference, making with a difference” – come along & find out for yourselves!