Taking a leaf out of their book

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A project which provides training and experience for adults with additional needs has set up a pop-up bookshop in Arbroath to put their work into practice.

The Learning Tree Partnership’s pop-up book and CD shop opened on Tuesday in OBs, 19 Westport, and will run until tomorrow (Saturday), from 10am-4pm.

It will give the service users a chance to gain work experience in a customer service role which they can then use in finding paid employment.

Morag McKenzie from the Learning Tree Partnership said: “It is our vision to have a permanent book shop. That’s what we want to do, with a member of staff on all the time, there would be people with learning disabilities working in the book shop gaining customer service skills and eventually taking those skills to another job. Customer service skills are so transferrable.

“People in Arbroath and the rest of Angus have been incredibly generous in donating books and CDs to use and we sell them on so we can get enough money to have another book sale.

“The people of Arbroath have been very generous, and what we really want now is people to come in, buy the books and support what we are doing.”

The Learning Tree Partnership held an open day in May to gauge interest and by July had held its first book sale, with one each month since.

According to Morag the scheme has proved more popular than they anticipated.

She said: “We had hoped in the first instance to have 18 learners come forward, but within four months we had 42 of them. There is clearly a need for what it is we are doing - some kind of training that’s learning and people-centred.

“Hopefully some funding fairy will come along so that we can get a bookshop and a permanent member of staff.”