Finding proper work experience when you’re close to leaving education is vital for any student. If you’re a young person with special educational needs and/or disabilities it can be very difficult to access this kind of opportunity. A project involving pupils from special schools across the county is aiming to fill that gap.
A unique business venture in Somerset, led by Special Educational Needs. Somerset Expertise (sen.se), with the support of charity Young Somerset and Somerset County Council. Sen.se is a partnership between special schools and specialist provision within Somerset.
Sense-ational appeared in Taunton’s High Street last year, Yeovil’s Quadem Centre in April and Frome in June, now to open in Angel Place, Bridgwater, on Thursday, 14th November at 12.30 noon, by Andrew Hanson, Somerset Education Business Partnership Manager. The shops are being run by young people and the stock is created by pupils from special schools across the county.
Products ranged from gifts, ornaments, jams and upcycled furniture, to beautiful limited-edition paintings, cards, sweets and plants, silk scarves, lavender products, candles, bird feeders printed aprons, bags and mugs. Come and buy Christmas gifts!
A spokesperson for Angel Place Shopping Centre, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to welcome the Sense-ational Christmas pop-up shop to Angel Place.
“This inspiring collaboration between Sen.se, local schools and stakeholders from the area is set to be a fantastic showcase of the students’ talent and we’re sure our customers will be very impressed with all the fantastic handmade gifts that will be available.
“The shops arrival also offers a wonderful opportunity for the community to learn more about the essential service Sen.se and its partners provide to empower these brilliant young people as they prepare for their next steps into the working world.
“It’s a fantastic addition to Angel Place and we look forward to everyone having a great time getting ready for the festive season with us.”
The pop-up shop demonstrates the power of collaboration, enabling partners to provide more opportunities for young people to gain valuable work experience and skills for life. AEW helped the team find the premises in Angel Place and The Hub at Bridgwater has provided the space for the shop. The project so far has been a major success and was chosen as a finalist in the Somerset Education Business Partnership Awards 2019 and was nominated for the Careers Inspiration in Education Award. Please see links for footage: