‘WE want to improve people’s lives and wellbeing’ is the mission of a new Portland charity shop.

The Age UK store in Fortuneswell is located on the old library site.

The charity is affiliated with the national Age UK brand but the Portland group are independent and as such, all the money they raise goes to helping people in the local community.

Head of Community Link for the charity, Hilary Foggo, said: “Any money we raise for this store goes to support local projects and issues. That’s the whole point of it.”

However, the shop is not just a shop. The team provide community services including: information sessions, monthly visitors who give talks, benefits and wills surgeries, by-appointment toenail cutting sessions, knitting and craft groups, as well as computer sessions where people can get online.

Mrs Foggo said the aim of the shop, which also has two rooms available for use or hire, was to create a ‘buzzing hub’ for older people.

The idea is that anyone can come in, young or older, bag a bargain and pick up free information leaflets or make a suggestion about a facility or service that would be useful for the older community on Portland.

The team are working alongside other charities and organisations on Portland and the idea is to grow the shop into a hub of activity, where people can get help, advice and support.

Mrs Foggo said in a few years they wanted to see the shop develop into a place where people will call in, like they do at Dorchester Age UK.

She said: “If it’s not us that can help, we can signpost them to what’s there to help.

“It’s what we can give and what people can give us to help older people.”

Mrs Foggo urged people to come in with suggestions of services or facilities that were needed.

She said: “Let us know what’s missing and we can try it out. If it doesn’t take off we gave it a go.”

She added: “We want to improve lives and well-being on Portland.”

The store also gets people involved in knitting projects and currently they are giving out patterns for hats and blankets for new born babies in Gambia.

Portland development worker Nicky Turrell said she wanted people to come to the store and make use of the facilities and see what the team could do to help.

n For more information call Nicky Turrell on 01305 826219 or email nickyturrell@ageukdorchester.org.uk