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Restore charity celebrates first year success
9:00pm Thursday 13th September 2012 in News
A CHARITY shop set up to create volunteer opportunities for people in the community is celebrating its first year anniversary and reflecting on its success.
Swindon Restore, which was set up by Swindon Christian Community projects, is based at St John’s Church Hall in Whitborne Avenue and sells second hand and restored goods.
Since opening a year ago, the store has seen more than 115 people pass through its doors as volunteers from a variety of backgrounds. At least nine of these volunteers have moved on to paid employment and they have been able to employ two part-time members of staff.
Project manager Alex Pollock said the first 12 months have been a huge success.
“Our first year has just gone so quickly but it has been amazing – really hard work but great fun,” he said.
“We can’t believe how quickly the first anniversary has come around, but we have a 10-year lease so our aim is to be here 10 years, if not longer.”
In the past 12 months, the store has delivered or collected furniture to more than 400 homes in Swindon, and has five volunteers on PAT testing who have been testing all electrical items that are donated.
Alex said: “I estimate that we have recycled or reused up to 25 tonnes of furniture and clothing items, reducing the impact on landfill. The workshop has been busy repairing and creating items of furniture.
“We are now able to do simple upholstery and have repaired numerous items of furniture. This has also been a place where volunteers can learn new skills and create something to be proud of.
“We provide our facilities for car park sales and advertise fun days for other charities through the shop. We have made go-karts and donated them as raffle prizes.
“The staff also get involved in helping to run the day. In total we have raised more than £1,000 for other causes in Swindon.”
This Saturday, from 10am to 3pm, the store will hold its own grand open day with a range of activities taking place outside the store, and everyone is invited to come along.
“Going forward, Swindon Restore is looking to start some creative art classes where people can come in and spend time in a friendly atmosphere doing something creative,” said Alex.
“We are also looking to hold some simple courses from IT to cooking on a budget and my big aim is to be able to open another restore in the north of Swindon.”
For more information, visit www.swindonfoodbank.co.uk.