Young Somerset has announced it has secured premises for a retail shop in the centre of Taunton.
The shop will be an innovative test-and-learn employment project for vulnerable young people in Somerset, combining retail venture with employment and life skills training, while challenging stigma and tackling isolation.
The shop will sell high quality products, designed and ethically produced by young people. Vulnerable young people will be in visible roles that contribute to community cohesion.
The shop will be called “Bold and Brave” – a title inspired by Lewis, one of the young people who worked in a former Young Somerset Christmas pop-up shop (see video here.)
Back in 2019, Young Somerset ran four experimental pop-up shops in partnership with Sen.Se (Special Educational Needs. Somerset Expertise) . The concept behind the permanent Bold and Brave shop is based on the earlier success of our pop-up shop model, although we expect opportunities connected to this new enterprise to be available to young people more broadly, including linking with FE Colleges and Home-Educated young people.
Young people involved in the shop will gain accredited training. They will be part of a work placement programme, receiving mentoring and job coaching. Young people will also gain retail and production experience. Products will be researched, planned, designed and made by young people from Somerset.
The shop enterprise will also support young people to have an active role within their community, enabling two-way flows of support between the community and young people.
Over the next few weeks, Young Somerset will be busy working behind the scenes to get the shop up and running, for when it is safe to open.