An Ellesmere Port family hit by redundancy stuck it out and have opened their dream art and craft shop.
Ian Mayers, married to Emma, was made redundant in March from W H Smith on Cheshire Oaks a few weeks after their second baby was born.
Despite 22 years in retail and only off ill for three or four weeks during that time he didn’t manage to find a job even though he attended interviews and completed courses to extend his work options including care, warehouse work and labouring.
But thanks to Verna and Chris from Plus Dane at Westminster Work Club and Steve at SEED/The Wellbeing High Street on Whitby Road he signed up to various courses and kept his confidence going.
Steve even helped Ian sign up to join in the charity abseil down Joseph Groome Towers which helped with Ian’s fear of heights and raised £240 for the Salvation Army.
Ian and Emma then got talking to letting agent Paul Edwards, managing director at Beanstalk Lettings on Station Road, an old friend of Emma and her sisters.
Paul told them a shop was coming available to let and they should think about it.
Emma said: “Ian needed a job and my sister Denise has always wanted to have an art and craft shop so we all chipped in and rented the space to do just that.
Denise has a fine art university degree, Ian had spent 22 years in retail and I passed my fine art college course.
“We named the shop after Ian’s Nan Amy Mayers who we recently sadly lost and raised money for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in her memory.
“We thoroughly enjoyed our first day and Ian is made up to be able to be in work again after months of looking for a job!”
The grand opening on Small Business Saturday UK on December 5 2015 raised £100 for the hospice.
Emma added: “We would like to thank all who came to our grand opening including Justin Madders who took time out of his busy schedule to come along to our shop.
“We would also like to thank our family, Paul at Beanstalk lettings, Chris, Verna and Ash from the Plus Dane work club and Steve at SEED for all their help and support.
“If anybody would like any help with making or drawing anything or if they would like to purchase anything in store to make we also have a workshop area and are more than happy to help with their projects and gifts.
Mr Madders described the venture as ‘a good example of local people taking the initiative’ and added: “Small businesses like this do help to drive our local economy and I wish them well.”
Amy’s Craft Artcade is at 1 The Arcade, Regent Street.