Rotherham literacy charity, Grimm & Co, is rewriting its own story and aiming to move into new larger premises months earlier than originally planned.
Currently based in a former pub in the town centre the Apothecary to the Magical sells wild schemes, evil plots, charms, curses and kitchenware. Above the shop, the charity runs innovative workshops for children in the local area, to unleash their imaginations and build confidence, self-respect and communication skills.
Last year saw the charity’s proposals approved that would enable an expansion into the former Talbot Lane Methodist Church. The plans have been backed by almost half a million pounds from the Arts Council.
The aim was to have a grand opening in October 2020 but with the premises still closed for workshops due to COVID-19, the plan is now to move out of the current building and into the new premises during July and August 2020.
An update from Grimm & Co, said: “Moving now will allow us to make an immediate start on our plans for developing new and exciting writing programmes and other interactive experiences, and it will also give us a much larger space to work in. This is essential as our staff and volunteers look at how to return safely to face-to-face working, as the government restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 begin to ease.
“The apothecary may be invisible to the human world for a little while, but when it reappears it will be bigger and better than ever, and we can’t wait to share it with you.”
The update also confirms that the physical shop on Doncaster Gate will not be reopening before the move. The unique retail offering supports the work of the charity and the online shop is now fulfilling orders again, so you can head there to stock up on essential potion supplies, novel tea boxes and more.
The much larger space will eventually enable three new classrooms to be created that will provide the opportunity to reach more schools and children. But for the time being there will be a transitional period where Grimm & Co will undertake a combination of digital delivery, mobile/pop-up workshops, and other occasional one-off sessions.
The charity is also appealing to local businesses who could grant wishes to help the charity take the workshops out and about.
Deborah Bullivant, founder and CEO of Grimm & Co, said: “What we’d really love to do is to take Grimm & Co on the road. We could offer a mobile magical service and we are appealing to businesses to help us to get two vehicles.
“We need a Luton Van (or similar), which will allow us to take our mobile theatre out to school settings and provide our creative storytelling and writing sessions. We also need a quirky vehicle, this could be a horse box or a camper van or a mobile food cart, which would allow us to take our tents into community settings and provide learning, activities and even take our magical apothecary on the road.
“We’re not asking for money, we’re hoping that a business out there may have a vehicle that they no longer need that they could donate to us and we’d “Grimmify” it before taking it on the road.
“We need to make sure that the vehicle is one that can be driven on a normal driving license as our team members would be the ones driving it to locations across the region.
“We know it’s a long shot but with a sprinkle of fairy dust and a touch of magic, we might just get lucky!”