Re:Style Your World UK is a new, developing faith based charity, based and active in the Midlands region of the UK. Using the vehicle of the collection, recycling and redistribution of new and second-hand unwanted surplus goods, Re:Style seeks to relieve and support those suffering genuine hardship or at risk of offending. Working in four developing service areas: Recycling, Shop, Storehouse, Active, Re:Style seeks to be a resourcing agent to existing charities active in providing front line support services, whilst at the same time providing work placement and training opportunities to those seeking employment.
This venture was first birthed by the Proton Foundation and eighteen months ago, Wendy Bolton who as a Proton Staff Member was the Managing Director of Re:Style decided to take on the vision completely. It was a good decision as she has taken the venture from strength to strength. The team at Proton are excited about how Re:Style is developing and we are encouraged to see our catalytic nature at work.
This past year has been a busy year of new developments and changes for the newly formed charity, Re:style Your World UK. Re:style operates in the Midlands in the United Kingdom and received charitable status in May 2014 and has continued to develop its services based around recycling unwanted goods.
In September 2014 Re:Style opened a second charity shop in the City Arcade area of Coventry City Centre, turning the top floor into the Bridal Room, offering pre-loved wedding gowns and wedding outfits and accessories through our dress agency service. Both of our Coventry shops are staffed by a team of volunteers, people of all ages, from all walks of life. In total, over 200 volunteers serve with us and our current team consists of approximately 20 staff and day managers. Our aim is to help people into employment, so we love to see our volunteers moving on into paid employment.
During 2014, Re:style Active has been partnering with three local employability-training agencies by providing retail work experience placements to people referred from the Job Centre as part of the Government’s Work Programme. Those out-of-work but receiving benefits must engage in the work programme. Every week we receive three or four new trainees; placements can be full or part-time and are for a period of four weeks. Non-attendance at placement can result in sanctions and the loss of three months of benefit payments. Whilst providing retail and customer service training we also try to download life skills and encourage our trainees recognize their own potential. Unfortunately, not every trainee completes their placement; sadly the dropout rate is high; however those that do graduate often ask to stay on as a Re:style volunteer which is a massive compliment to our management team. Our desire to is make placements fun and friendly whilst at the same time providing a retail foundational training experience.
The Re:Style: shops also act as the donation drop off point for people specifically wishing to give goods to the Re:style Storehouse. Restyle seeks to collect and redistribute unwanted, surplus goods, acting as a resourcing agent for local charities delivering front line support services. So during 2014, Re:Style provided beds and bedding to local families and also distributed donated items of new clothing, toiletries, baby equipment, toys and games, to three local charities:
1) City Hearts, supporting men, women and families rescued from human trafficking;
2) Doula Project, Birmingham working with vulnerable new mothers, especially asylum seekers. ‘Doula’ refers to a helper who accompanies women around the birth of a child;
3) Coventry Community Recovery, working with recovering adults and the homeless.