Rock Foundation opens new shop on Freeman Street in Grimsby
AN ORGANISATION that helps people with learning disabilities has opened a new shop in the heart of Grimsby.
Local not-for-profit group the Rock Foundation continued its rapid growth as it opened a new shop in a store on Freeman Street that previously sold furniture, opposite The Wine Pipe pub.
People with learning disabilities – who the charity helps – will get the chance to sell the things they have made and work in the shop for experience.
It also sells second-hand goods.
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Pam Hodge, who set up the charity four years ago, said: "We have had so many donations from people who support us that we have wanted to open another shop for a while – this was the perfect place."
Pam, who has a disabled son, started the charity four years ago in the Ice House, Victor Street, to provide training opportunities for children and adults with learning disabilities.
By 2011, it had grown so much that they moved to the former Holme Hill School on William Street when the council moved out, as reported.
That base has a Victorian sweet shop and tea shop to raise money, workshops for people to make crafts and outdoor furniture, and is used to train people in IT, life skills and needlework.
However, the Rock Foundation wants to expand further and earlier this year, they asked the council to give them the Lindsey Lower School building so they could expand their services – although the bid was unsuccessful.
Pam added: "Before I set the charity up, I had been wondering what my disabled son would do after he finished school, as there seemed to be nothing for him.
"I think he – and others like him – deserve a future and the same opportunities as other children, so set up the charity.
"The woodwork, needlework, crafts and everything else we do teaches them valuable skills but also hugely builds their confidence.
"We have had young people and adults who barely spoke before they came but have become extremely chatty and started to really enjoy life."
Jennifer Mawer, who has been involved with the charity since Pam set it up, said it was amazing how far they had come in four years.
She added: "I thought at the time that it would be very hard work and it has been – but it was worth it. The number of people who use and benefit from the service shows just how much need there is for it in this area.
"It makes such a difference to the people who use the foundation and I have seen people really blossom."
If you would like to volunteer for the Rock Foundation, call Pam on 01472 488026 or 07712850466. Donations can be dropped off at the store.