A DISABILITY charity near Andover has this week begun the first phase of its charity shop and tearoom renovations as part of its Centenary Appeal.

The Enham Trust’s appeal launched in 2021, their Centenary year, asking supporters to help raise funds towards the refurbishment of its much-loved Charity Shop and Tearooms on Newbury Road in the village of Enham Alamein.

It is as the charity moves into its 101st year of operations this week that the first phase of works can now take place.

Built over a century ago, the building has a rich history from its origins in the basketry industry, but now requires essential improvements to ensure an accessible and enjoyable shopping and dining experience, and improved working environment for its staff and volunteers.

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A regular volunteer in the shop, Paula, who has cerebral palsy said: “I’m so excited for the refurbishment to get started as it will mean I am able to move around the shop more freely in my chair, allowing me to get even more involved in everything the shop has to offer”.

Improving the accessibility of the shop and tearooms is a top priority for the charity, with works to include widening doorways, removing internal walls, installing an accessible toilet, and much more. To achieve this, the Trust set its sights on a total of £280,000 to be raised through donations, fundraising challenges, and applications. Thanks to the £25,000 Community Asset Fund granted by the Test Valley Borough Council, the charity continues to make headway towards its goal and is now able to commence phase one works of refurbishing the shop area.

Kerrie Morley, Enham Trust income generation co-ordinator said: “We are so grateful to Test Valley Borough Council. The Community Asset Fund grant will ensure that disabled people locally will have a fully accessible space to browse for bargains and stop for a bite to eat with friends. Enham Trust will also be able to provide even more opportunities for disabled people to work within the Shop and Tearooms, and it will also be a fabulous place for everyone to shop and dine and reconnect after the isolation of the last couple of years.”

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The charity shop will remain open as normal, however the current café will be temporarily closed for approximately a month from February 21.

If you’d like to support Enham Trust’s Centenary Appeal, visit: www.enhamtrust.org.uk.

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