A SHOPWORKER in Oswestry town centre has come up with an idea to provide help for those in the town who may be getting bullied or feel vulnerable.

Andrea Hughes, who works at the B&M in English Walls, came up with the idea to offer the shop as a safe place for children who need help.

Her idea came after she saw a bullying incident online, which made her eager to help children who may be struggling.

She hopes several shops in the town will back her idea and also offer their premises as safe places.

“I recently saw a little boy being picked on outside a nearby school and it was horrible to see,” Andrea said.

“So it got me thinking and the only place between where children leave their schools and their homes is the town centre.

“And I thought if we all pulled together as shops and make some safe places for them to come into and ask for help if they need it.

“It’s only one incident that I have seen myself so far, but I have a 10-year-old myself and I think to myself, if I can tell her she can run into a shop if she ever needs help, it’ll make her feel safer and make me feel better too.”

Store manager Claire Perry, and Andrea’s colleagues, have been supportive of the idea, which has also received a huge amount of support on Facebook.

Some shops in the town have already pledged to support her idea, including Lawrence Direct, Baileys, Morda Shop and New Look among others.

Andrea added:

“Past the shop, it is fairly busy with schoolchildren at the end of the school day, but the idea is to have numerous shops around the town getting involved.

“It has been posted on Facebook and the store manager here said it was a good idea to do that, so hopefully the word will spread from there.

“Claire has been very supportive with the idea as well as my other colleagues here.

“The response has been brilliant so far online and quite a few shops have agreed to support the idea too.”

Store manager Claire said she is fully behind the idea, and wants any vulnerable adults to know that they too can use the shop as a safe place.

She said: “I think it’s a fantastic idea, I’m so proud of her. Even if just one person comes in, it’s one person we can help.

“You like to think and hope no one gets bullied, but you just don’t know what can happen.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to children either – if there are any vulnerable adults who feel a bit overwhelmed and want a safe place to come to, we’re here for them too.

“It’s great to hear some shops are already onboard with the idea.”