I popped into the offices of the charity +Carers Gloucestershire the other day to find out how they are literally cannibalising landfill fodder to turn into items for sale in their shop. In the picture above they are creating hedgehogs from books. Below, this string of Christmas bunting was created using old socks and jumper sleeves and is now adorning the mirror in my dining room.
The activity of upcycling unloved items kills two, if not three, birds with one stone. It is perfect for bringing together the people the charity assists to do something fun together. Attractive items are created that can be sold and otherwise useless stuff can be re-invented into something desirable. A Win win situation!
+Carers Gloucestershire exists to enhance the lives of unpaid carers - people looking after sick family members or neighbours. They can find themselves leading isolated, often impecunious lives and the charity advises them on how to maximise their income as well as organising fun events and social interaction. Esther, left in the top picture, is not only a full time carer, she also runs subgroup Hucclecote Carers which is one of 60 of the charity's subgroups.
The day I called in at their offices, these ladies were busy folding abandoned books into very weird shapes...
The hedgehogs sell for £3.00 and are snapped up at Christmas fairs. The charity organisers and their helpers are often assisted by office workers from local companies such as insurance company + Ecclesiastical across the road. While I was there Louise from Finance dropped in during her lunch break to help out at the crafting table. The idea is catching on with her colleagues who give up lunch hours to donate time to the cause.
Some have a few skills to offer as is clear from the jewellery they helped make from a broken necklace in a recent session.
The tea and egg cosies below were made with donated wool and the Xmas baubles by imaginative minds using upcycled materials.
Schools have also been involved such as Cheltenham's grammar school +Pates making items in their art lessons.
Do you know of any charity that is being helped out by local companies in this way? Especially in a way that uses existing resources imaginatively - just like +Carers Gloucestershire?