A North Wales venue where the Beatles once played is one of five sites where a national disability charity is to open its first fund-raising shops in Wales.
Sense, which helps people with complex disabilities such as deaf/blindness, has teamed up with one of the UK’s biggest self-storage companies to use their storage park in Saltney to drive an expansion into North Wales.
The charity plans to open five stores across the region, the first in Mostyn Street, Llandudno, this month and the second in Rhyl at 38, High Street, where a blue plaque commemorates the date on July 14, 1962, when the Fab Four played for the first time in Wales.
There are planned to be between twenty to thirty shops across Wales as Sense expands its reach across the country to raise funds for the support it offers.
The stores will be supplied with stock stored in four giant-40 foot containers at the Lock Stock Self Storage site in Saltney which will act as a hub depot for the charity.
The first Sense store will open in Llandudno’s former Royal Bank of Scotland building in Mostyn Street in December and will be followed by branches in Rhyl, Wrexham, Denbigh and Welshpool
Sense Area Manager for Wales Martin Newell said: “We’re delighted to be about to open in Wales for the first time and we like to involve and build strong relationships with local communities and local businesses such as Lock Stock, who provide our storage needs for Wales to spread awareness of the important work we do.
“We already have the containers in use at Saltney with enough great quality stock ready to be sorted to complete the initial launches of up to ten shops.
“They will continue to be key for the storage of what we are sure will be generous volumes of stock donations from the various local communities we will trade within.
“It’s ideal because we can load directly into the containers for a van to distribute stock to shops on a local basis.”
Sense, which is partnered in Wales by developer Bearmont Homes, was founded in 1955 by two mothers whose children were born with complex disabilities caused by Rubella.
It has now grown to an organisation with over 250 properties across England and Wales including resource centres, colleges, assisted living, children’s centres and offer holiday breaks with support from birth and throughout people’s lives, with shops to aid raising charitable income.
Lock Stock Commercial Manager Jeff Woods said: “We are delighted to have been able to help such a worthy charity which does such important work.
“This is their first move into Wales and the have been able to make four containers available to them alongside each other on one site which makes the logistics of distribution easier for them.
“Container storage like this works very well for organisations like Sense and for commercial businesses as well because they provide safe, secure storage facilities which can be accessed at all times of the day or night.”
Martin Newell added: “We help people with complex disabilities including those who are deaf/blind with communication, mobility needs, learning and to live their life on their terms fulfilling their potential.
“Our vision is of a world where no one with complex disabilities is isolated, left out, or unable to fulfil their potential.
“Our goal is to support children and families get the best possible start in life, to support adults to live and learn through each stage of their life, to ensure individuals are less lonely and feel more connected with their communities and to increase awareness of the impact of our work so society is inspired to take action.
“The funds generated through our shops help us to support those with complex disabilities and those who are deafblind by providing holidays, short breaks and activity groups, education and support centres, housing and individual support, information and advice.
“Local communities can support Sense by visiting our shops where we will have a fantastic collection of clothing, books, DVDs, CDs and for something unique and sometimes quirky browse our bric-a-brac.
“All this is only possible with the help of our local supporters, as we rely on the kindness of the community and their donations of stock and offering time, even if just an hour a week as one of our invaluable volunteers.”
Jeff Woods added: “We’ve expanded our capacity here in Saltney where we’re close to Chester and to the A55 so there’s really good communications and ideal and safe storage which is accessible 24/7.
“Our containers are perfect for charities and for businesses and each of the 40-foot containers provides 2,560 cubic feet of storage.
“As with all our sites there will be 24/7 access with security fencing, cameras and lighting and 24-hour passcode access which is ideal for businesses and charities.”
Lock Stock are the UK’s biggest container-based storage company and the units they use are a by-product of the shipping trade – most are Chinese-built and have made the 12,000-mile, seven-week sea journey via the Suez Canal.
They come in three sizes, 10 feet, 20 feet and 40 feet and all are eight feet wide by eight feet high with capacities from 640 cubic feet to 2,560 cubic feet and the Sandycroft site also offers a small number of 320 square foot units.
Lock Stock’s new site on River Lane at Go Outdoors is close to their original Saltney site and has capacity for 300 containers but the company are looking at using some of the space for caravan storage and for compounds for businesses.