Vivo Care Choices’ new Diverse Designs shop is already making a big difference in the community, providing plenty of opportunities for people to prosper.

The Diverse Designs shop, which is based at the Forum Shopping Centre in Chester and open from 10am to 4pm from Monday to Saturday, is being run in partnership with the West Cheshire Autism Hub and other local organisations.

While Vivo is currently a separate company wholly owned and funded by Cheshire West and Chester Council, it will transfer back to the Council as an in-house service from April 2022, continuing to support people with learning disabilities and autism and older people, including those with dementia.

Chris Matheson, MP for Chester, officially opened the shop at the end of November 2021 and not only does it give people the chance to get creative, but they’ll also develop customer service skills that could help create a future pathway for them into employment.

Diverse Designs was extremely busy over the festive period as people bought presents for family and friends and the shop has already been linking in closely with a number of different groups.

While the Autism Hub and its members have been regular visitors to the shop, autistic group Aspire is hosting weekly creative classes. People using Vivo’s services have been accessing support around skills and employment and the partnership with Dorin Park School has provided work experience opportunities for young people.

Alistair Jeffs, Managing Director of Vivo Care Choices, said: “We’re delighted with the success of Diverse Designs so far.

“This project has never been about the profit as the most important thing is providing opportunities for the people we support at Vivo and our partners.

“It’s fantastic to see so many local groups getting involved with Diverse Designs and coming up with amazing creations for us to sell at the shop.

“We never expected to be as busy as we were over Christmas and we’re looking forward to seeing how this project continues expanding in 2022.”

If you’d like to link up with Diverse Designs, whether you’re a care organisation supporting people or looking for somewhere to sell products you’ve made, please email: donna.tonkinson@vivocarechoices.co.uk.