Over-16s jobs shop in Witney is back after revamp

Witney Gazette: Brian Overton, back, left, and Barry Ingleton, with a group of students Brian Overton, back, left, and Barry Ingleton, with a group of students

A SHOP in Witney run by young people reopened at the weekend.

Synolos, in Wesley Walk, was closed for two weeks while it underwent an extensive refurbishment that will allow the training group to provide more work opportunities for jobless youngsters.

Founder and owner Barry Ingleton said: “The unique retail training experience created by Synolos has been a huge benefit to the students, allowing equipment and tutors to be available on all programmes.

“The plan now is to expand this concept to more young people, to get Synolos known for all it has to offer both in education and retail.”

The shop was opened in 2012 as a branch of the Synolos youth training centre, in Corn Street, which gives people aged over 16 a chance of running micro-businesses.

Young people choose the product ranges in the shop, which includes fashion items, household products, gardening equipment and photography services.

Bespoke items are made in store.

Profits are used to fund the educational programme.

The refurbishment has created a kids’ corner, photography studio and T-shirt printing service, as well as a new colour scheme and furniture.

Mr Ingleton said lack of working space meant only two people could usually work in the shop but this could now be trebled.

Synolo has been nominated as a finalist in the charities and communities category of this year’s West Oxfordshire Business Awards.

The students are also designing the finalists’ trophy for the awards.

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