A good cause which has a vital role in supporting people through substance and alcohol misuse has taken over a new premises in Carlisle.

Cumbria Gateway hopes its new Village Emporium will provide them with some extra cash to be able to run their much-needed services.

The former home of an old church on Cecil Street is now the base for the outlet, which is being hailed as a hidden gem.

Head up the stone steps and customers will feel like they’ve stepped back in time as they enter an emporium that is home to six pre-loved shops and a coffee bar.

The base was once home to a former antiques centre, which has moved further down the street.

Angela Lawson, support worker with Cumbria Gateway, said: “We’re a not-for-profit organisation. We are not a charity but everything that is bought from us goes back to us.

“We are staffed entirely by volunteers.

“We have recently started selling a range of Beatrix Potter goods and gifts as well as arts and crafts and canvas paintings which are made for us by a local lady who attends our arts and crafts group.

“The centre is a social enterprise.”

Inside, the interior has a hidden gem - a red post box from a bygone era.

Angela added: “It’s really lovely inside and once people are inside they love it.”

The organisation has 17 supported living accommodation bases helping women with drug and alcohol problems, mental health difficulties and domestic abuse.

The workers can also help with housing and benefits.

Angela said: “One of our main purposes is to provide volunteering opportunities for people that perhaps struggle with confidence and self-esteem and help them regain their self-worth through volunteering with us, while offering them support where needed.”

The emporium is open Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 10am to 4pm.