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Despite improvements in care and support in the last 20 years, people with learning disabilities still experience significant inequalities. Brandon Trust exists to enable children, young people, and adults with learning disabilities and autism to live life in the way they choose. This year, the charity retailer celebrates its 30th anniversary of providing high-quality, individualised support that focuses on enabling people to achieve their dreams and truly live free.

At the heart of Brandon Trust lies a portfolio of 16 social enterprises. These include charity shops, an online shop, cafes, potteries, a packaging project, and a care farm with a farm shop. The social enterprise model is founded on the belief that by reinvesting profits into the charity, they ensure that every purchase, service, and partnership contributes directly to empowering people. Brandon Trust drives significant social change by offering vocational training and paid employment to those with learning disabilities and autism.

In 2021, Brandon Trust set out to develop a new strategy that looked at how they could support people and their role in creating a world where people of different abilities truly belong. With a tablet-based EPOS, Brandon Trust encourages volunteers of all abilities to play an active role in running the shops, with their salaries being paid from the income generated.James who works as a Shop Assitant at Brandon Trust's Whiteladies Shop  

One of their Shop Assistants, James has autism and has been working in Brandon Trust's Whiteladies Road shop for just over two years.

Petra Littlefair, Retail Enterprise Manager explains, “The fact that we have such a great and easy-to-use EPOS system in our charity shops and cafes has enhanced the experience of people with learning disabilities and autism who are volunteers, trainees, or staff in our social enterprises. Being able to use a till and serve customers in busy shops and cafes helps them build confidence and independence, advancing their employment journey.”

Initially having only three charity shops and wanting to introduce more, they needed to find a suitable solution to support them. Brandon Trust had a vision for the people in which they support and work alongside. It is a future where the focus is on what people can do and the value that everyone brings. Brandon Trust now has four charity shops on high streets across Bristol, and one in Chipping Sodbury, that continue to provide the bright future they envision.

When considering how a supplier could provide Brandon Trust with everything it needed to expand, Petra says, “Wil-U has enabled us to capture accurate transactional data which we have successfully used to improve our financial performance across the enterprises. Not only that, but it also enables us to measure the social impact we have within Brandon and across the communities we serve and support.

Everyone at Wil-U had all the time in the world to meet up with us multiple times and answer all our questions – it doesn’t matter if you are ‘big’ or ‘small’ you get the same great customer service.”

Having a dynamic, easy-to-use EPOS has allowed the charity shop to track its performance in each shop. Since its installation, the charity shop saw an increase in Gift Aid by 50% (in the first year), encouraging its retail growth.

If you would like to find out more about how Wil-U’s solutions can support your charity retail development, get in touch.

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Victoria Cotton
Post by Victoria Cotton
Jun 19, 2024 10:07:25 AM