New year, new home: mental health social enterprise opens new doors in Oswestry
Designs in Mind, a social enterprise dedicated to supporting adults with mental health challenges, opened its new doors in Oswestry before the New Year, following the help of grant funding.
The social enterprise supports adults living with mental health challenges work together on ambitious, experimental art and design projects.
Located at 17 Cross Street, the organisation has been able to expand thanks to the High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ) scheme. The scheme, which has received funding from Historic England, Oswestry Town Council and Shropshire Council, is being delivered through the Future Oswestry Group, which is comprised of representatives from Shropshire Council, Oswestry Town Council and Oswestry BID (Business Improvement District).
The scheme was set up to transform rundown buildings and shopfronts and to rejuvenate the market town, its historic character and lively high street.
Prior to their expansion Designs in Mind operated from the upper two floors of 17 Cross Street for sixteen years. The grant funding has enabled the organisation to expand onto a third, ground floor level and fit a new workshop, quiet room, and shopfront. In addition, Designs in Mind have also opened an art shop, which will provide a welcomed revenue stream for the organisation.
Cai, one of two CEOs at Designs in Mind, said:-
“The funding has been instrumental in allowing us to transform the area into a much-needed workspace. It means that we are now fully accessible to all our members but, more importantly, we have a presence on the high street, which means we can hopefully start breaking down the barriers about mental health”.
Samantha Jones, Shropshire Council HSHAZ project officer:-
“It has been wonderful to support such a worthwhile cause. Designs in Mind do a great job, and it is great to be able to give them a new home that works for them. They have worked hard to bring back this building into use and create such a stunning shopfront that is an asset to the street.”
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for growth, regeneration and housing, said:-
“This is just one of many great success stories from the HSHAZ scheme. I’m really pleased to hear about the great work of Designs in Mind and what this bigger premises can help them deliver for local people.”
Duncan Kerr, local Shropshire Councillor for Oswestry South, said:-
“As the local town councillor and Shropshire Councillor, I have always had the greatest admiration for the vision of the people who started Designs in Mind and the commitment and artistic brilliance of everyone involved in it. It is fantastic to see that funding from Historic England and Oswestry Town Council has made it possible for the groups to have a shopfront which they, and everybody in Oswestry, can be proud of. If you are passing pop in and say hello to them!”
Councillor Jay Moore, Oswestry Town Mayor, added:-
“Congratulations to Designs in Mind on their newly improved space. This organisation is vitally important to the people of Oswestry, and we are happy to support these improvements via our partnership with HSHAZ.”