Cosgrove Care @ Skirving Street
I like charity shops, they can be a source of all kinds of wonders, odds and ends and strange one off little fun gifts which you would never have purchased at the full price but for a couple of pound seem worth it. Over the last few months from the many different charity shops on Victoria Road, Kilmarnock Road and Cathcart Road I've picked up a board game with a tiny piano, a buzzer that makes the uh-oh noise from Family Fortunes and a Santa Clause puppet.
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Some of my favourite charity shops, but ones I often don't get to visit are the Cosgrove Care stores on Skirving Street. There are three stores, two stocking a wonderful assortment o very unusal things and a newish cafe, No 16 Cosgrove which is further down the Street.
It was only while chatting to staff while writing this post that I really understood what the charity is about and why they opened a cafe on a street already very well provided for tea and cakes. Started in 1962 the Cosgrove Care charity was set up to provide support and learning to people with mental disabilities. The shops and cafe play an important role in this support. There are two or three full time staff, supported by a group of volunteers and between them they provide support to mentally disabled adults and children, who gain the skills and experience of work by trying it out for real in the world. As the staff said, the No 16 cafe is really there as a means to provide the users with an oppertunity to learn how to serve customers and help get them into work. Its quite nice that the shops are not just a means to raise funds but are also a direct link to helping the people that need it.
The reason I don't often get to visit the shops is that they don't open at the weekends due to their Jewish beliefs, which were the original founding stones of the charity. The fact that the shops are not open at weekends has led lots of people to think they are actually shut down. We've had a couple of emails to Southside Happenings in the past asking us whats going on with them. We know that Saturday and Sunday opening is something that they are potentially looking at at the moment and it would be great if they did. I think it would not only bring them a ton of extra customers but it would also add an extra bit of life and browsing opportunities on Skirving Street on a lazy weekend wander.
To find out more about the charity and what it does visit this link.
Labels: Skirving Street