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Children's Scrapstore collects St Monica Trust funding

A grant from the St Monica Trust’s community fund is helping a charity that turns business waste into art, craft and play materials, develop activities for older people.

From stuffed kangaroos to plastic hair protectors and Thai rice bowls, Children’s Scrapstore takes other people’s unwanted scrap and offers them to local artists, art classes and for fun activity sessions for children.

“We collect business waste from a variety of organisations and businesses across the South West,” said Events and Marketing Assistant, Dominique Fester. “For example, the stuffed kangaroos were a promotional toy, which can be turned into rabbits by replacing their tails with pom-poms.”

Children’s Scrapstore has been running since the early 1980s, and three years ago converted an office space into a playroom. The playroom allows the charity to run creative sessions for children, families and adults on-site as well as in the wider community.

However, as Dominique explained, they now want to bring their programme of activities to older people living in the local community. “Recognising the importance of growing our understanding of and supporting older people, Children’s Scrapstore applied to the Trust’s Community Fund to run a feasibility study to develop services specifically for older people.”

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Through their feasibility study, the Children’s Scrapstore met an Over 50s Inner City Art Group from St Pauls who were searching for a new venue to meet as their funding was rapidly coming to an end. “We now host that group and they are even taking part in an intergenerational event with a local primary school,” said Dominique. “The experience has really helped us to consider how we can become more relevant to an older age group, especially when it comes to developing accessible and engaging activities.”  

“We’ve been busy visiting other organisations with experience of running activities, including the St Monica Trust’s Community Impact Team,” said Dominique. “We’ve done some shadowing at the Trust’s retirement villages and care homes, looking at how their art groups are run and attending a resident-led brass rubbing class at Cote Lane.”  

“The funding from the Community Fund has allowed us to discover the needs for a wide cross section of older people in Bristol. We believe that arts and craft has a positive impact on the well-being of all generations and we look forward to creating more innovative projects that will result in long lasting benefits for whole communities."  In 2018, the Trust’s Community Fund awarded more than £540,000 in individual grant giving and supporting groups who provide vital services for older people in Bristol, with a focus on addressing social inclusion issues.

The Trust’s Community Fund Manager, Angelina Shoemake said: “The Community Fund is always keen to support innovative and sustainable projects. The feasibility study being carried out by the Children’s Scrapstore is very inspiring and exciting. It will provide reliable information and evidence regarding the need and worth of such intergenerational projects to develop and grow our local communities.” 

Funding Organisations in the Bristol Area

For more details on how the Trust’s Community Fund can help you or your organisation, please contact the community fund team on 0117 949 4003 or email angelina.shoemake@stomonicatrust.org.uk.

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