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Derwen College’s on-site charity shop, The Vintage Advantage, offers shoppers a range of pre-loved bargains.

The award-winning charity shop provides essential work experience opportunities for our students who have special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

The Vintage Advantage charity shop first opened its door in April 2021, with support from the Steve Morgan Foundation.

What’s on offer at The Vintage Advantage?

The Vintage Advantage

Derwen’s charity shop is located in Gobowen near Oswestry. It sells a range of quality second-hand clothing, accessories, homeware and books.

Students on Derwen’s Retail and Enterprise pathway have the opportunity to undertake work experience in the shop. They learn all about sorting, pricing and displaying goods, and learn new sales and marketing skills.

Community support

After receiving £24,000 from the Steve Morgan Foundation and additional support from The Community Foundation for Staffordshire, an empty classroom was converted into a shop.

The Covid-19 pandemic had prevented students from getting off-site work placements since March 2020. So the project to open the shop was vital to continuing our students’ retail experience. The project even featured on ITV’s Central News.

Head of Curriculum, Zoe Wood, said:

Student working in the charity shop“Being able to practise their vocational learning in a relevant, real-life work setting can be life-changing for our young people.

The opening of The Vintage Advantage means that our retail and enterprise students can practise their customer service skills in a real shop setting.

The Vintage AdvantageThe Vintage Advantage has received overwhelming support since it opened. Shop manager Sharon Jones said:

“Customers particularly enjoy browsing and buying our selection of stylish clothing and accessories, homeware and books. We’ve received compliments on how well-displayed, bright and spacious the shop is.

Many shoppers turn their visit into a trip out by also visiting our Garden Centre and Gift Shop, and enjoying refreshments at the Walled Garden Cafe.”

Award Winning Enterprise

Queens Award for Enterprise Promoting Opportunity 2022We were honoured to receive the Queens Award in May 2022. The Vintage Advantage forms part of Derwen Marketplace which was recognised in our Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Promoting Opportunity.

Judges for the prestigious national awards were impressed by Derwen Marketplace where students learn work skills in the:

Read our news article about the Queens Award to find out more.

The awards don’t finish there. The Vintage Advantage also won College Initiative of the Year at the Aico|Home Link Community Awards in May 2022.

And in June 2022, the College won the Natspec award for Pathways into Employment. The Vintage Advantage featured in this award as one of the ways we support students to work towards their employment aspirations.

The Vintage Advantage Location

The Vintage Advantage

Derwen College’s charity shop is located in Gobowen, near Oswestry in Shropshire.

Find us at Entrance B on on Twmpath Lane in Gobowen. Our car park is very close to The Vintage Advantage, ideal for dropping off donations, or taking home all your purchases!

If you use the what3words app, the entrance to the Garden Centre Car park is located at: ///splinters.sampled.endings

Use the Google map below to find out more about our location.

Derwen College is located in Gobowen, near Oswestry, Shropshire. The college offers vocational learning for young adults aged 16–25 with Special Educational Needs. Students learn work skills and independent living skills in an environment bespoke to their needs.

The Vintage Advantage is part of a unique on-site retail area. Derwen College’s retail outlets are open to the public, where students learn, train and gain work skills.

The Vintage Advantage opening times

Open every day:
9am to 4pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 4pm Sunday.