Lord Adebowale opens Retail Learning Experience in Wakefield

News item posted: 17 March 2017

Lord Victor Adebowale, Chief Executive of Turning Point, recently opened new shop front, the Retail Learning Experience (RLE) in Wakefield, praising the "excellent example of recovery in the community."

The shop sells local produce and is run by service users from Turning Point's Wakefield Districts Substance Misuse Services and first opened its doors for business in July. It is becoming well known in the local community and is providing vital stepping stones for service users to progress in their recovery by accessing employment, work experience and qualifications.

Run by Turning Point's Accord Recovery Centre (ARC), the initiative was initially implemented with help from Wakefield Council, the Wakefield City Centre Partnerships business support grant and Wakefield Market Hall management as part of the small business grants scheme.

A service user spoke about how the RLE has helped them in their recovery;

"The RLE is a good experience, I get to meet different people I would not normally come across. This helps me with my confidence and also my depression and anxiety problems that I have suffered with for many years. With the experience I gain in the RLE I hope to eventually achieve employment of some sort."

Bev Firth-Lewis, Operations Manager for Wakefield Criminal Justice Services and ARC said;

"It has been fantastic to see the initiative grow and develop. We hope to increase our referrals over the coming months, increase the confidence of our service users in recovery and ultimately increase the number of enterprise initiatives from within the RLE into the wider community."

"We want to see the RLE become an integral part of the local community. The shop is stocked with locally sourced produce and the Social Enterprise model, where the profits are reinvested back into the business or the local community, is at the heart of the business. If you haven't been down to take a look around yet please do."

The Retail Learning Experience is based at shop unit number 2 at the front of the Market Hall, Wakefield, opposite Grosvenor House and is open 10.30 - 3.30pm Mon, Tues, Thurs Fri and 11.00 -2.00pm Wednesday.