Birthday bash for Hope and Soul Dromore

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There were birthday celebrations this week as Dromore’s Hope&Soul marked its third anniversary.

The social enterprise and self-proclaimed shabby chic shop, part of the Via Wings charity, is also home to coffee dock, The Olive Branch, which has been going from strength to strength since it opened its doors to customers in June 2012.

Since then both have been raising funds for Via Wings, itself founded in May 2009, initially with the aim of helping supply food and necessities to single mums.

Founder, Gail Redmond, said: “We had no idea when we set up back in 2009 what was in store or how much we would grow and develop.

“We have always prayed that God will make the charity what he needs it to be and we have been faithful and grown and developed as we thought he was leading us.

“Hope&Soul and The Olive Branch have both grown and developed over the last three years. We have gone from starting with just volunteers to now employing eight members of staff, which in the current climate is testament to the success of the charity and how it has been supported in the local community.”

Hope&Soul stocks a wide range of goods, from second-hand clothing to designer jewellery, accessories and gifts.

The coffee dock also offers a suspended coffee service where customers can purchase a coffee in advance for someone in need in the community.

Said Gail: “Meeting the needs of the local community is what Via Wings has always been about. The charity was set up to supply food to those in need in the Dromore area.

“The first month 18 families were fed. Last month 55 families and 218 mouths were fed.”

To continue its work the organisation is calling for donations to its Dare 2 Care food collection project.