The manager of Salford’s Sports Traider, Forhan Ahmed, has revealed his delight following the stores first month in business at the Shopping Centre.
The charity sports shop opened up in September and has seen plenty of people through its doors since then in its effort to provide affordable sportswear for all.
Every item in the store is priced at £5 or less, with many of the items being donated from the community.
Ahmed has overseen the opening at the store, where half the profit made from sales goes to the Sports Traider charity, which aims to give young people employment and participation opportunities.
He said: “The first month was really great, everyone started figuring out there’s always something for everyone, especially kids.
“It was brilliant, we all got to meet everyone. We even had Lance (Haggith, founder of Sports Traider) come through the store.
“The customers could learn what the project is all about. The store is all about kids who can not afford sports wear, so they get to know Sports Traider are there for them.
“We’re already seeing though Sports Traider is not just for kids, it’s for everyone”
The charity was set up twelve tears ago and now has nine stores across the North of England.
It was set up to provide affordable sportswear to those who can not afford it, starting with kids wear but has now moved on into providing sportswear for adults as well.
The proceeds made from the shop are then used to give young people employment and sports participation opportunities. The hope is that by doing this they gain confidence, self-esteem, retail skills and improve mental and physical health.
The hope is to make a difference for the community and Ahmed is already seeing the effects it is having on the Salford community.
He said: “A lot of customers have came to us already and said how we are helping people in need.
“We’re already making a difference. With everything being £5 or less, we want people actually know it’s worth much more than £5, so we can build a spirit.”
Ahmed and his assistant Heather are currently running the store, however volunteering opportunities are available and there has been plenty of interest since the store’s opening.
All the volunteers are from Salford and Ahmed has already seen the benefit to the volunteers and their well-being.
He said: “We have many volunteers, we have someone with autism and another with mental health issues, and we’ve seen how much it helps them.
“For example we had two girls volunteering here a few weeks ago but they have recently got jobs and we were happy to give them a reference as they did great work for us. We like giving back to the people who help us.
“We are always on the lookout for more volunteers and are hoping to expand potentially with temporary or permanent staff.”
The store currently plans to be open for just a year, but the hope is that, if the current level of support from the community is maintained, the store can be kept open for much longer.
Ahmed commented: “I believe if it continues to go as it has then we will be here a lot longer and hopefully permanently.
“For example the Runcorn store has been open for years now and I hope we can be the same.”
The store is located at Unit 67/68 Fitzgerald Way in the Salford Shopping Centre.