How our eBay Store is helping people with visual impairment get employed

18 November 2019

What began as a social enterprise project, originally created as a learning experience, now brings in over £52,000 a year. Since it began in 2012, our eBay store has helped countless young people with visual impairment to learn new skills. This often enables them to move into the world of paid employment.

Two of our eBay staff members standing in front of a clothes rail and a yellow wall

Two members of our eBay team

Bringing new purpose to old stuff

When charity shops don’t have space to sell everything, things usually end up in a storage cupboard collecting dust. The WESC Foundation social enterprise team have found a way to use these donations to raise even more money. And, by selling them on eBay, they also provide our young people with work experience and new life skills. What they sell largely depends on what is donated. Although one look in the eBay store headquarters will reveal that ladies wear forms the majority of items, followed by books and DVDs. It is run by a group of staff, some are former students of WESC Foundation, all have visual impairment. The money raised is then reinvested into our charity shops. This helps us provide work experience and volunteering opportunities for even more of our young people.

Accessible working

As with the WESC Foundation as a whole, everything the eBay store does is geared towards those with visual impairment. Everything at our eBay store headquarters is colour-coded, from the ladies wear hanging on racks to the different sized carriers bags used for packaging. It is all aimed at making life easier for the visually impaired young people who work there. Making the workplace accessible for those with a visual impairment is crucial to the WESC Foundation as we hope to enable our young people become as independent and self-sufficient as possible.

Two racks of clothes one on top of the other. The items are colour-coded

Colour-coded ladies wear

Ever heard of a talking till?

Through internships and work experience placements, the young people at WESC Foundation can learn more about e-commerce and practice using tills. This prepares them to do some work experience in one of our charity shops. The social enterprise team helped to develop a state of the art ‘Talking Till’ specially designed for those with visual impairment. Using audio and touchscreen technologies, the till enables people with a visual impairment to process payments and actively participate in serving customers. The ‘Talking Till’ is now in use in all five of our charity shops. The social enterprise team have also been busy in the digital world creating an app (WESC S.E.D.). It includes information about the charity shops as well videos showcasing the staff and volunteers that keep our charity shops going.

A touch screen till with brightly colored icons on the screen. Someone's hand is hovered over the screen

Talking Till

Our eBay store provides accessible work experience for visually impaired young people. This enables them to learn new skills so they can go out into the world of work with confidence.


You can shop our eBay store here.

Learn more about our social enterprise team.

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