YSS Social Enterprise starts: “Good Stuff” furniture restoration project in Worcester

In late 2012 YSS re-designated its vocational training centre in Carden Street, Worcester as a Training and Enterprise Centre. The main purpose of the centre is to run 2 social enterprises designed to offer employment opportunities, work placements, volunteer opportunities, vocational training, job clubs, work readiness activities, personal and social development programmes. This is combined with integrating a wider range of personal support services including Health services, Counselling, Mentoring, Independent living and Family support activities to a range of disadvantaged groups.

The 2 social enterprises are run under the umbrella name of ‘Good Stuff’.

  • Good Stuff Cafe which is anticipated to open publicly in early 2014.
  • Good Stuff Shabby Chic furniture project. This project sources old ‘brown’ furniture and other furniture in poor condition and ‘up-cycles’ it by stripping the furniture down, redesigning it, carrying out repairs, painting it, stencilling and adding details to produce ‘shabby chic’ contemporary furniture to a standard suitable for re-sale to the general public as a premium product. Sales of the furniture will be made through e-Bay and the Carden Street Centre. In the longer term any profit generated from sales and from providing training/programme placements will be combined to ensure sustainability.

The vision for Good Stuff shabby chic furniture was established through research undertaken in the AIM partnership project during 2011-12. Two successful social enterprise models have been identified in operation at present. One focused on women offenders in the North East and another focused on young offenders in the Home Counties area respectively. The longer term vision is for the enterprise to be running 6 days a week with opportunities for offenders/ex offenders to be involved with purchasing and sourcing old furniture, transportation, design, production, administration, marketing and retail.

A pilot project has now started  in October 2013, initially on one/two days per week with a view to scaling up further in 2014 subject to funding applications and evaluation. A designer and production manager who is also professionally qualified as a level 4 ETE IAG advisor has joined the YSS team, together with a  handful of YSS volunteer mentors  being drafted in to support the project delivery.  This is  being  promoted to magistrates  in Worcestershire   for female offenders and  is  to be given as a  “Womens specified Activity  Requirement”:

  • The activity will revolve around all stages of the sourcing, design, production and retailing of the    furniture.
  •  A full health and safety induction will provided for each new attendee and at the start of each session for all.
  • In addition to the furniture related activities each week a subject matter will be integrated into the schedule. This will be delivered by a mixture of one to one support or in groups. The main subject areas are; Physical Health & Nutrition, Emotional Well-being , Thinking Skills, Finance and Debt, Relationships (Inc Parenting Skills), Independent Living and ETE IAG with an emphasis on self employment and enterprise where appropriate.
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Registered Charity Number: 1081992
Company Number: 4024428
Patron: HRH The Princess Royal