What does making a difference mean to you?

Before I write what I planned to write about this month, our whole team want to express our sadness at the loss of so many loved residents in Stoke Gifford Retirement Village over the past few months. Since becoming part of the community back in 2020 we have made many friends and feel incredibly honoured to share the ups and downs of life in the village. We are always sad to say goodbye to residents and sadly this year it feels the goodbyes have increased.

When I am confronted with the finite nature of life, it always leads me to reflect upon why we do what we do and consider how we can make an impact in that short time we are here.

So, this month I want to talk about our purpose at Your Village Shop. Many of you will have seen us grow from the tiny seed of a shop that we couldn’t even open fully. We have had to adapt and do things we didn’t expect for a long time and we wanted to create a shop you could be proud of. Behind all this there has always been a greater ambition to support our community and create employment and work experience opportunities for young people and adults.

This year our purpose to provide work experience opportunities will come to life with the award of a National Lottery Community Fund Grant. This fund will allow us to create a unique work experience programme for young people who are autistic or have another condition like adhd, dyslexia or dyspraxia or anxiety. This will be run through a community interest company called Inclusive Change At Work CIC. If successful we hope that this programme will be able to be implemented in other organisations and businesses.

We always knew that our community was a fantastic place to be able to create safe and supported work experiences. Your continued support is a vital part of our purpose – without it we wouldn’t now be able to have an impact on young people that we believe will really make a difference.

So, once again THANK YOU! Let’s keep making that difference.