Permanent 'pop up shop' to showcase youngsters talents

A permanent shop has opened in Somerset selling items made by local youngsters and it’s thought more shops could follow.

The bold and brave shop - named by one of the youngsters involved - is at 14 Riverside Place in Taunton and is a collaboration between Young Somerset and

We’re told it’s not a charity shop, but instead a space for youngsters to learn new skills and try out new ideas.

'' stands for ‘Special Educational Needs.Somerset Expertise’ and is a partnership between all special schools and specialist provision in Somerset.

The idea for Bold & Brave began back in 2019 with a series of pop-up shops in Somerset which sold quality goods designed and produced by learners from Somerset’s special schools.

Nik Harwood, chief exec of Young Somerset, said: "Following the success of the pop-up shops and witnessing the positive impacts the project had on both the young people and the local community, Young Somerset decided to create a permanent shop in partnership with

"Young people will be offered the opportunity to gain accredited training.  They will be part of a work placement programme, receiving mentoring and job coaching. Many of the products on sale have been researched, planned, designed and made by young people from Somerset. Vulnerable young people will be in visible roles that contribute to community cohesion.

"Although the concept behind the permanent Bold & Brave shop is based on the earlier success of our pop-up shop model, we expect opportunities connected to this new enterprise to be available to young people more broadly, including linking with FE Colleges and young people who are home-educated. We also want the shop to act as a community hub with space for the young people to host workshops, create products, and meet with community partners.”

Julie Walker, Executive Officer, said: “This is an exciting and innovative project which puts young people first and gives them a great opportunity to gain valuable experience in a professional working environment.”

Councillor Frances Nicholson, Somerset County Council Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “I am so pleased that the successful pop-up shops have led to the opening of a permanent shop. Many more young people will now have a real opportunity to be ‘Bold & Brave’ while they learn new skills.”

Posted by Julie on October 20th 2021

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