Portsmouth’s Beneficial Materials Bank provides wonderful example of what Guernsey could have

February 16th, 2011 by Richard Lord

(click on logo to go to Beneficial Materials Bank website)

Sheila Cataroche of Rex Stationers on Les Ruettes Brayes in St Peter Port kindly sent an article from PaperCraft Inspirations about The Beneficial Materials Bank in Portsmouth after reading about the need for a Community Repair, Reuse and Reclamation Centre in Guernsey.

According to The Beneficial Foundation website, “The Beneficial Material Bank and Craft Centre is one of the largest and most successful scrap stores in the UK.  It has a membership of over 1000 groups including schools, colleges, community and voluntary groups.  These groups access The Beneficial Material Bank’s extensive range of donated products including paper, fabric, plastic and other items.”

The Materials Bank helps people with learning difficulties and other disabilities by offering them the chance to progress into paid employment.

The Centre provides a working environment for Trainees and Volunteers in a wide range of areas and activities.  The work experience on offer improves the confidence, self-esteem and communication skills of the participants.

The Materials Bank offers skills training in warehousing, reception skills, administration, customer care and retail selling.  And it has a horticultural unit that provides training in commercial horticulture, growing and gardening skills.

The PaperCraft Inspirations article states that The Beneficial Materials Bank “is a place where all kinds of companies donate vast quantities of ‘scrap’ such as packaging, paper, fabric and plastics.”  “The bank also offers a home for tons of unwanted goods that would otherwise end up in landfill.”

Jo Penney, a member of The Beneficial Materials Bank, transforms scrap materials into recycled cards.  Jo became involved with the Materials Bank because of her children and her involvement with the Guides.  She gives demonstrations to show what could be done with scraps.

Members of The Beneficial Foundation can reuse items for a small annual fee.  The Craft Shop is open to all.  The Centre has also a Café serving hot drinks and food.

Nick Bush, Operations Manager of Beneficial Foundation, recommended looking at the ScrapstoresUK website for ideas and information about setting up such an enterprise.

1 Response to “Portsmouth’s Beneficial Materials Bank provides wonderful example of what Guernsey could have”

  1. rosie dorey

    This is an example of finding an ‘opportunity’ in what could otherwise be a problem. Finding a use for things that would otherwise be destined for the dump and at the same time creating job training opportunities and a centre that the whole community can benefit from.

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