Vivo Care Choices, in partnership with the West Cheshire Autism Hub, has opened a brand-new Diverse Designs shop at the Forum Shopping Centre in Chester, providing an opportunity for people with learning disabilities and autism to get creative and sell their products.
While Vivo is currently a separate company wholly owned and funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council, it will move back to the Council as an in-house service from April 2022.
The Diverse Designs shop can be found next to B&M Bargains and the entrance to Chester Market at the Forum Shopping Centre and will be open from 10am to 4pm from Monday to Saturday, offering a range of arts, crafts and other products for customers to purchase.
Vivo provides services for people with learning disabilities and autism across Cheshire West and Chester, while the Autism Hub opened at The Bluecoat in Chester last year and offers a welcoming space for people with autism and their families.
The products on sale will make wonderful gifts or ideal Christmas presents and customers will know they’re not only beautifully and lovingly hand made, but they also make a difference to the lives of the people supported by Vivo and the Autism Hub.
This venture will provide people accessing services at both Vivo and the Autism Hub with plenty of opportunities to develop their skills and grow in confidence in the community.
Along with the chance to get creative, people will be able to develop customer service skills that could help create a future pathway for them into employment.
The focus of the shop will be on the development opportunities rather than profit making so it’s a space where people feel comfortable to get creative and take part in the things they love.
Alistair Jeffs, Managing Director of Vivo Care Choices, said, “This is another exciting development for us at Vivo as we aim to be at the heart of the local community.
“The people we support love being creative and this is a fantastic opportunity for them to sell the products they make.
“It’ll provide another location where they can create their arts and crafts and no doubt feel really valuable to them having a workspace at the shop itself.
“We’d love to welcome as many customers as possible to our new shop so they can see the range of products we have on offer.”
If you’d like to link up with Diverse Designs, whether you’re a care organisation supporting people or looking for somewhere to sell products you’ve made, please email: [email protected]