Winner announced following on from community art competition held by local retailer

Grimsby learning disability group awarded £1,000 for winning artwork

Linkage Community Trust, a learning disability charity, has bagged itself a £1,000 prize for a piece of art that beat hundreds of other entrants across the UK in a national competition marking 50 years of The Original Factory Shop.

The competition invited schools to create artwork that best represents what their community means to them. The clients of Linkage Adult Skills, who submitted the winning entry to their local Cleethorpes store, recreated the iconic seaside town in collage.

The competition has been taking place in stores across the UK, with schools battling it out to be crowned overall winner and win the cash prize for the best artwork.

The entry was submitted by Danielle, Alex, Tom and Richard, who all attend the Linkage Adult Skills in Grimsby, a day service for people with learning disabilities.

The entry from Linkage Adult Skills was named as the winning artwork for the region which then went on to be displayed in store The Original Factory Shop’s 50th birthday celebrations. All regional entries were then judged and a winner chosen by the CEO of The Original Factory Shop, Emma Fox, who chose Linkage’s entry as the national winner over hundreds of other entries across the UK who entered.

Jan Hallifax, Acting Manager at Linkage Adult Skills, Grimsby said “The students were so thrilled to be announced as the winner. We discussed the competition with the groups and asked them what the best thing about our community is and what do they like doing. Someone suggested meeting people and beach huts and it grew from there really. Everyone was shouting their thoughts: sand castles, the beach, sea huts, sea creatures, ice-cream, so out came the art materials and the group project came from there. They were all engaged in making the ideas come to life, it was amazing to watch and be a part of it.”

Ian Whitwham, store manager of The Original Factory Shop in Cleethorpes chose the Linkage entry as the winner for the Cleethorpes region.

He said “We’re thrilled to see Linkage named as the overall winner – they’re truly deserving. As soon as I saw the entry it perfectly summed up Cleethorpes and why people love it here so much.”

The Original Factory Shop in Cleethorpes works closely with Linkage Community Trust, with a number of individuals from the charity’s further education college and Adult Skills service gaining valuable work experience in store.

Ian continued “We’ve had people from across Linkage come to store for work experience for around four years now. It’s amazing to see some of the individuals to go from being fully supported with their work coach to working completely independently in just a few short months. We’ve even had some do so well they’ve been taken on as permanent staff. It’s valuable work experience for them and it’s amazing to see the amount of confidence they gain just from working alongside us. It makes us feel like one big family.”

Since 1969, The Original Factory Shop has been sitting at the heart of communities across the UK, offering incredible value, choice and quality. For more information and to see further entries from the artwork competition, visit

Contact Gi Grimsby
Email us:
Follows us on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest local stories, breaking news and to join the conversation


    Leave a Reply