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Since the concept of the Day Workshop, it was very important that the wider community were able to see an "end product" in relation to the therapeutic work undertaken by our client base.
Although not driven by sales profits and income generation , it became clear that there was a level at which our clients' work could be offered for sale , in order to make each of them valued as a member of the workshop , and that their efforts could be rewarded in some way.
Initially the various crafts and plants produced by the clients was offered for sale at village halls , stalls and on a fairly ad hoc basis within the community. These items were very well received and after internal discussions about our future developement , it was decided to purchase and construct both a large greenhouse and and a wooden chalet style Sales Outlet , so that our work could be displayed within its harmonious setting , were our clients were connected to it both in proximity and by offering the general public a chance to visit us.
Last Year , after a great effort by everyone here , both the greenhouse , car park and Sales Outlet were all ready for launch, the Lower Garden was landscaped, pathways and a brick fountain constructed and borders dug and lawn areas and seating made.
It was decided that our Plant , woodwork and craft sales would begin in May 2009 , and would be very much a "low key" approach.
We have endeavoured consciously to make it a trickle approach , both for the benefit of our clients and for our co-ordinators, as too many people arriving at once had the potential for creating too much disruption to our working day.No advertising was undertaken , merely a simple sign on the road. this approach has been very successful , with the local community calling in between our opening hours of 10am and 3pm weekdays only. Support has been very pleasing thus far , and the public are encouraged to not only purchase items from the sales outlet or plant sales areas , but also to visit the Day Workshop and observe our clients refurbishing tools for various projects, including Tools for Self Reliance.
We have a laid back atmosphere here which is extremely important for us , and it was also thought essential that our clients met the public , helped with purchases and explained their involvement with the products for sale. Most of our woodwork for example has the names of the clients responsible for its construction written on them , to provide the personal touch to our visitors.
So far we have been successful in this venture , although we are still learning how to improve things , and everyone has had their efforts rewarded by the positive comments from our visitors.
We thank everyone for their continued support, it means a great deal to us.