A Hertfordshire based charity has opened its first physical store in The Marlowes Shopping Centre in Hemel Hempstead.
Electric Umbrella is a local charity that aims to use the power of music to enrich the lives of learning disabled people.
The new emporium was opened on Saturday, May 14 by Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, Robert Voss and hopes to bring new projects closer to the learning disabled people they serve and help them develop new skills.
The unique Electric Umbrella store features instruments for sale, reimagined items to interact with and a workshop to fix, re-imagine and service donated instruments.
The shop also encompasses a brand new studio and live room where members can get involved with all aspects of live performance and create new and exciting music together.
At the opening of the store, Electric Umbrella member Rob said: “I think it’s absolutely wonderful, it has got everything that people could hope for, it’s really fun and it will draw lots of people in.
“I’m looking forward to working with the guys and having some time to take in what is here.
“[The emporium] creates a lot of exciting things, lots of opportunities – to sing, to talk to people…it’s really good.
“I will learn how things run with all the great people that are here and learn different skills, stuff that I didn’t know before and I think I’ll get fun out of it as well!”
Mel Boda, Electric Umbrella co-founder and CEO, said: “The opening of our Electric Umbrella Emporium is a dream come true, beautifully realised by our amazing team for the benefit of the whole community.
“Electric Umbrella is all about putting our learning disabled members centre stage, providing them with a purpose by creating meaningful opportunities.
“It’s really important our emporium is located in The Marlowes in the heart of the town centre so the public can see the outstanding contribution our members make to the wider community.”
Helen Gray, Hertfordshire Community Foundation (HCF) foundation director, said: “Improving lives in Hertfordshire is at the core of Hertfordshire Community Foundation’s work.
“Our grants are funded by local philanthropists who want to support local charities.
“We are delighted to have been able to provide a grant towards making this initiative a reality and supporting Electric Umbrella in enriching local lives.”
For more information visit www.electricumbrella.co.uk