A boutique clothing shop with a difference has opened its doors in Norwich.
Located in the Castle Mall Shopping Centre, New-U is a unique store that will operate on donations, swaps and loans, with no cash transactions taking place.
Instead of money, the shop will use a voucher system and is aimed at young adults who could not otherwise acquire clothing.
The concept is the first of its kind in Norfolk.
Each item of clothing donated is given a value and customers will be able to swap or loan items based on value. The shop will also provide ‘smart’ clothes for any occasion that can be borrowed for job interviews or similar occasions.
OPEN Youth Trust and Talent Match New Anglia will be running the store, which has been set up through The Big Lottery Fund.
Talent Match is a consortium of organisations led by The Prince’s Trust in Norfolk and Suffolk.
Sue Buffin, Project Manager for Talent Match said: “The idea for the New-U shop was created by the Talent Match Youth Forum who wanted an outlet for their peers to have access to suitable clothing to help them into the world of employment.
“The other purpose of the shop is to give young people the skills and confidence to progress into employment by offering retail woork experience placements in a supportive environment.”
Charlene Ledgard, Head of Youth Services for OPEN commented: “We are really excited to be playing such an integral part of this initiative. Being able to empower young people to gain employment is fundamental to what we as a youth charity are about.
“None of this would have been possible without the Castle Mall offering us a suitable location or TEN Creative helping us put the desired look and feel of the shop into fruition. We’ve got funding for 12 months and we’d love to stay in Castle Mall.
She added: “We hope to open more shops in Norfolk and Suffolk too – this is just the start of the vision.”
If you are aged 18 to 24, live in Ipswich or Waveney and have been out of work for over 12 months, then Talent Match can help.
Talent Match is a free service for motivated young people which is completely voluntary to attend. We believe that everyone should be encouraged to pursue their dreams and aspirations. If you want it badly enough, you should not let anything stand in your way.
We are here to support you on a one-to-one basis to help you achieve your goals. We tailor sessions to your needs and will work out an individual plan to help you to gain the skills and experience to move into work. Read more…