Formerly homeless Bedford man to run upcycling workshop at SMART Prebend Centre
Bedford man Christian was homeless for six months before local charity Emmaus Village Carlton gave him a place to live and the support he needed to change his life for the better. 10 months on, Christian is now using his creative talents to “upcycle” unwanted furniture. Items donated for sale in their shop are repaired and painted, raising vital funds for Emmaus.
On Monday 25th September as part of national Recycle Week (25th September – 1st October 2017), Christian will be joining our team and service users for a special workshop at The SMART Prebend Centre in Bedford – offering rough sleepers the chance to learn upcycling skills.
Emmaus Village Carlton supports 42 formerly homeless people by giving them a home, meaningful work in a social enterprise and an opportunity to regain lost self-esteem to help rebuild their lives. Funds are raised through their Home Store charity shop and bistro in Carlton, with local people donating unwanted items for resale.
Speaking about his work, Christian said: “It means a lot to me that I’m able to use my artistic talents to help Emmaus Village Carlton, as they’ve done so much to support me. I love finding pieces of donated furniture and transforming them to be sold in our shop. I have a workshop area and as people donate items, I keep an eye out for things that might otherwise not sell, or sell for very little, and then I work out how to transform them into something so much better.
“For the Upcycling Workshop, we’ll be showing people how to transform a wooden dining chair using chalk paints. The finished pieces will then be donated to the centre so they can use or sell them to raise funds.”
Emmaus Village Carlton’s Re-use and Recycling Manager Tom Blight will be assisting with the workshop: “Emmaus is all about helping those who are most vulnerable in society. We like to be able to partner with other local organisations who are also working towards this goal. We’re really looking forward to sharing our upcycling skills in this special workshop, giving people a chance to learn a new skill and enjoy a new experience.”
Lisa Harrison from The SMART Prebend Centre said: “This is an amazing opportunity for our service users to learn new skills. It’s important that we provide diverse and interesting activities at the centre and we are delighted that Emmaus are helping us to achieve this. We are all very excited to get involved!”
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