The Specials front man Neville Staple opens unique charity shop

Friday 30 November 2012 Updated: 03/12 14:41

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Buy photos » Stuart Ryan, Isla Windsor, Mike Fowler, Neville Staple, Ann Muirhead, Coun Lynette Kelly, Rankin Roger, Stuart Sullivan and Paul Burbo from Burbo K'Ture. Picture by Jon Mullis 49.012.003.cov.jm1 (www.buyphotos247.com)

A UNIQUE charity shop legally selling counterfeit clothing has opened in the city centre.

Neville Staple was the special guest at the opening of Windsors and Refreshed in Far Gosford Street.

The shop is named after homeless charity Coventry Cyrenians' former employee and ex-city councillor Rob Windsor who died at the start of the year.

It is being run by the charity in partnership with Coventry University whose fashion students will remake counterfeit clothing seized by trading standards into fashionable and bespoke items to be sold to fund the charity's services.

A team of 15 homeless people carried out market research, promotion and project management in the run up to its opening last Thursday.

In recent years, the charity has seen an increase in the amount of young people aged between 16 and 24-years-old accessing their services and came up with the venture to plough more money into helping homeless.

Chief executive Mike Fowler said: "In the first year we plan to take at least 40 young unemployed people through the project, providing them access to employability skills, retail and customer service experience and access to qualifications through a partnership with Henley College."

The opening of Windsors and Refreshed is the latest step in the £25million regeneration of Far Gosford Street.

City council development spokesman Lynnette Kelly said: "This is a fantastic project and exactly the kind of alternative and extraordinary outlet we were hoping to attract when we began the regeneration of the area."

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