Throughout August and September, many of our local social enterprises will be reopening and resuming their normal services post-lockdown. We wanted to take the chance to spotlight some of the fantastic social enterprises that operate here in Clackmannanshire and encourage more people to shop local and buy social!
Just over a month ago local social enterprise, ACE, reopened their doors to customers following months of closure due to lockdown. We popped in for a chat with Mary Houston, General Manager, who kindly showed us around their new socially distanced setup and told us a little bit more about her experience of lockdown and reopening.
Located in Alloa, next to the Clackmannanshire Community Health Care Centre, ACE holds a great stock of preloved furniture and household items. They receive donations of used and unwanted furniture, which is then sorted either for recycling or for reselling in their shop, ultimately diverting it from landfill. They are a true asset to the community, offering furniture at extremely affordable prices, and at the same time reducing waste.
In speaking with Mary, she expressed her delight to have been able to reopen, noting that they had been extremely busy, and had received a huge number of enquiries for uplifts and collections, as well as good foot traffic through their shop.
Mary also gave us a lot of insight into the changes they had made to their shop in preparation for reopening: they now operate a doorbell system for customers to limit numbers in the shop, have introduced hand sanitiser stations and a spacious one-way system which guides customers through the shop floor. Furthermore, they now quarantine all furniture that they have received for a period of time before it is put out on the floor for sale.
Mary also went on to share with us some of the comments she had received from visitors to the shop, the overall consensus was that the new set up was great and very accessible, but more importantly, customers felt safe. As Mary explained, “ACE is a place for the whole community, you can stop by and look at the furniture, or come and take a look at our book room, everyone is welcome here, and people should feel confident in getting back out into the community after lockdown”.
At CTSI we encourage people to support local social enterprises in any way they can. We asked Mary what people could do to support ACE and she told us that “people should consider visiting ACE if they need any furniture, they don’t necessarily need to buy new, but by supporting a social enterprise they aren’t just contributing to good social outcomes like diverting waste from landfill, but keeping people in jobs locally as well”.
She also highlighted that people can support ACE is by doing something as simple as liking their page on Facebook and making sure they spread the word about what they do.
We would like to thank the team at ACE for letting us visit their premises, they really take pride in their work and it shows! If you would like to know more about ACE, then please visit their Facebook Page, where they also have their most up-to-date opening hours.
Like their Facebook Page.
Give them a call: 01259 928081