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Kettering Sweet Shop Worker Praises Down’s Syndrome Fundraiser Support

April 5, 2023

    A sweet shop worker who sold bags of treats to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association said he had received “awesome” support.

    Billy, who has Down’s, told colleagues at The Shop, Kettering, Northamptonshire, he wanted make more people aware of the condition.

    So he created “Billy’s Pouch” and filled it with his favourite sweets.

    The 28-year-old raised nearly £400 by selling about 400 bags, both in the shop and through online sales.

    The Shop offers work experience to young people with additional needs, while boosting their skills.

    Billy, who has worked there for about six months, pitched the idea during a daily staff meeting.

    He said it was “my special idea” to raise awareness for World Down’s Syndrome Day on 21 March.

    Claire Scott, who owns the business with her partner Geoff Littlewood, said Billy’s initiative had received “amazing” support.

    The Shop was set up by a special school in Kettering and the couple took it over when it was threatened with closure – just three months before the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Luckily, Mr Littlewood was able to use his IT skills to move sales online, which brought in a new customer base and kept the business running while the shop was shut.

    Ms Scott said it had been “scary” moving from education to retail, but it meant everything to see their team thrive.

    “It’s boosting their confidence and their communication, literacy, numeracy, IT and social skills. To see a job from start to the finish, seeing customers come in and buying the products that they’ve made is amazing,” she said.

    “They’re working as part of a team, being able to solve problems.”

    For Lula, who has worked at The Shop for seven years, the skills gained means she has been recruited for a weekend job at a cafe.

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