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Elektra Fence to open the new and more fabulous Scope after move to new Brighton premise!

British drag queen, Elektra Fence, who appeared in series three of Ru Paul’s Drag Race will be doing the honours of cutting the official opening ribbon of disability equality charity Scope’s stunning new shop directly opposite its current location in London Road, Brighton on Thursday 28th March.

The new shop will be three times more fabulous for customers, being three times bigger. Customers will find the charity’s new collections, Scope Vintage and Selected by Scope, a range of brand new items from leading high street labels. The shop will also offer pre-loved donations and beautiful gifts, from the charity’s Disabled Artists Collection.

Scope has been refurbishing a number of their charity shops to ensure they are accessible for customers, staff and volunteers. Brighton shop will be fully accessible too and is the first outside of London to be fitted with a new look interior.

The vintage, industrial look includes fixtures with white exposed brick walls and a textured wall, give a relaxing atmosphere for an enjoyable shopping experience. There’ll be a Community Corner with a chalk board to invite customers to share their views on disability equality and artwork by local disabled artists will be permanently on show.

Community events will be happening throughout the year and the charity has invited learners from Downs View Life Skills College to paint a mural on a wall, to feature local landmarks. The shop has been a partner with the college for seven years, providing volunteer opportunities for their learners to gain valuable work experience.

Scope has also collaborated with the young artist, Johnny Carroll-Pell, who is diagnosed as severely autistic. Though he finds verbal communication challenging, Johnny finds expression through painting. The first two paintings to be on show are called Girl with the Pearl Earring and Hare with Blue Ears

Elektra Fence, British drag queen, says: “I am very excited to be officially opening the new Scope charity shop in Brighton. I am a big charity shop fan so when they invited me, I jumped at the chance, especially as it’s Scope. I’m really looking forward to meeting their customers on the day too.

“Growing up, Scope was always a part of our family. My two incredible parents both had and have Cerebral Palsy and were always passionate champions for equality.

“They had to contend with discrimination, injustice and being regularly under-estimated. But they always defied the odds and proved doubters wrong. It’s where I get it from!

“We are so proud of our family’s life-long association with Scope. We have been supporters of the charity almost from its beginnings 70 years ago.”

Liz Gregory, Shop Manager at Scope charity shop, Brighton, says: “When we heard Elektra Fence was opening our new shop, we all did a collective “woo”. We’re big fans and can’t wait to meet her.

“I hope our customers enjoy the accessibility of this shop. Our new look interior really gives a relaxing feel and there’s space for people to sit down if they need a break from shopping. They’ll find our rails are full of stylish, vintage and brand new high street ranges, quality, pre-loved outfits at affordable prices.

“We’re especially proud of our collaboration with learners from Downs View Life Skills College who will have created a mural on one wall, by the time we open.

“Another collaboration we’re so proud of is Johnny Carroll-Pell, who with his family used to live in Brighton is loaning our shop Brighton themed paintings throughout the year. His work is incredibly powerful and it will be a stunning addition to Scope Brighton.

“Scope is a proud supporter of disabled artists and work with them on designs that are on products available in our charity and online shops. To work with local artists in our shops communities is a natural alignment for the charity.

“We’d also love you to drop off your pre-loved donations you no longer want. We’ll ensure they go to a new home to be loved once again. Every time our shop raises £13, it could help pay for call to our helpline, connecting a disabled person or family with a Scope expert so they can get the vital support they need.”

Raul Ortiz (deputy head), Gemma Sharp (career coordinator), Lisa Pignatti (Job Coach) from Downs View Life Skills College, say: “Our learners really love volunteering at Scope. The support they get is incredible and they really enjoy learning new skills. When we were approached to create a mural in their new shop, it was the perfect opportunity for our Learners to be involved with. Most of them are completing an Art Award so this project is a perfect opportunity for them to include in their Art Portfolio.

“We have a team of seven learners putting the backdrop onto the wall with a further 25 students creating 3-D designs to adhere on top of the backdrop. They’ve had such fun planning what the final design will be like and the final work will be submitted for our art exhibition in Hove Station.

“We’re so proud that this work of art will be a permanent feature that customers, our learners and their friends and family can enjoy looking at for years to come.”

Find the brand new Scope shop on London Road, Brighton from Thursday 28th March.