THE opening of a Salvation Army charity shop in Bo’ness could lead to a huge boost in community facilities within the town.
For it is hoped that the enterprise, which opened on Monday, will raise enough cash to underpin several ventures including, crucially, a drop-in centre for foreign residents of the town.
Lieutenant TIm Lennox of Bo’ness Salvation Army said the corps had identified a definite niche for the facility because there is a significant number of Eastern European residents in the town who face particular difficulties.
He said that issues to be addressed at the drop-in centre include welfare benefits, housing, overcoming the language barrier and providing adequate clothing for immigrants.
‘‘We have identified a particular need for such a facility owing to the significant number of Eastern Europeans living in the town,’’ he said.
‘‘The drop-in centre will enable us to provide appropriate advice and information targetting that vulnerable section of the local community.’’
Although mainly staffed by volunteers, the South Street shop does have a full-time paid-for manager and a paid-for part-time assistant manager.
It will offer for sale clothing and electrical goods at reasonable prices according to Lieutenant Lennox.
He said: ‘‘Over the last year we have been aware of the need for such a facility and have acquired the premises in South Street which were officially opened on Monday of this week.
‘‘As well as providing good quality clothing and electrical goods at reasonable prices it will also bring a bit of life to a section of South Street. The building we are now occupying has been closed for two or three years.’’
Other ventures that will benefit from the cash raised by the shop are the mother and toddler group already operated by the Salvation Army in the town, the lunch club and the provision of improved youth work in a secure, sheltered and welcoming environment said Lieutenant Lennox.