THE fashionable owners of a popular clothing shop are looking to increase their capacity to offer mental health support to their customers.

Steve Hurdle and Jez Dixon are the material masterminds behind Bestdays Vintage, which is located in Eld Lane, Colchester, and sells retro garments.

Four months ago, having expanded the size of their shop and installed a relaxed café area, the duo enlisted the help of Ellie Cornell of Essex and Suffolk Counselling.

Ellie now runs a private counselling practice from an office positioned at the back of the site and a free weekly drop-in service for anyone who needs a chat.

The decision to offer wellbeing support came after Steve and Jez realised their own concerns and stresses were putting a strain on their friendship and the business.

Thurrock Gazette:

“Three years ago, myself and Jez decided we needed to do more than just talk about money, because it wasn’t healthy and it was stressing us out,” explained Steve.

“We started by reminding ourselves that we wanted our community to leave the store feeling a bit happier than when they came in.

“We wanted to be able to have open conversations with young people about mental health, be accessible with counselling and accept we all need a bit of help at times.”

Bestdays Vintage has since morphed into a community hub in which Colchester’s younger generation can meet like-minded people and access mental health guidance.

The shop is still very much the go-to place for adolescents to find their next outfit, but it is now helping customers on the inside as much as it is the outside.

Steve and Jez usually fundraise for their project in-store, through sales of their own Yify clothing range, or by hosting live gigs.

But they are now calling on fundraisers to help them generate money so they can provide even more support to those in need.

Steve added: “We think we are the first shop of its kind in the UK, which is pretty cool in itself, but our therapeutic coffee morning is growing.

“So, we are now looking for ways to help fund an extra day a week to help grow our free weekly drop-in counselling service.

“We have raised £1500 so far towards this project but are looking to see if we can fund this extra day, but we need help funding it.

“Any kind donations are much appreciated to help us to build this service that has been so vital to anyone that needs it.”

To donate to Bestdays Vintage visit gofundme.com/f/helping-fund-counselling-sessions-for-young-people or donate in-store.

The shop’s free weekly drop-in service with Ellie Cornell runs every Thursday between 10am and 11am.