A NEW shop which supports the homeless welcomed its first customers this weekend.

Amaze, the retail part of the Let’s Make a Change charity, opened for the first time on April 24 with a “grand opening” event featuring live music, stilt walkers and free ice cream.

Polly Reehal, co-founder of the charity, which helps the homeless, said: “People have been incredibly generous and donated some amazing things.

“Everybody who comes will have the chance of getting an amazing bargain.”

Mrs Reehal says the shop in Worcester Road is ‘no ordinary charity shop’.

She said: “There are no old clothes, shoes or bedding, only quality furniture, pictures and ornaments together with a large range of home crafted items on sale.

The charity believes in trying to help homeless and disadvantaged people build independent lives.

“We provide employment for people in need and give them the opportunity to earn a living wage” said co-founder Chris Lee.

“We even have a workshop at the back of the shop so customers can see our special craft items being made.

“The shop has been supported by over seventeen volunteers who have offered their help for this worthy cause.

“It’s just been amazing the number of kind people in Worcestershire that have come in to assist us in this project.

“We have been supported by Malvern Hills District Council and Sophie Jackson, the town centre recovery officer, who has really given us a boost.

“Together with help from Howard Dawson and his team at Malvern Job Centre we are going to be able to help a lot of people.”

For more information, go to www.letsmakeachange.co.uk.

Mr Lee, from Worcester, who was once homeless himself, came up with the idea of Let’s Make A Change - a not-for-profit organisation - after being helped by David Harper and his wife Diane.

The founders said three of those working at the charity have personal experience of prejudice and homelessness and have a focus on encouraging those in need.

For more information, go to www.letsmakeachange.co.uk