Help Your Britain - ScrapstoresUK

Continuing with our Help Your Britain campaign today marks the first user-nominated charity to be showcased on Bing. We’ll be showcasing the work of a small UK charity on the last Friday of each month enabling the cause to tell its own story.

There are more than 187,000 registered charities across Great Britain with a story to be told, many of whom will never be heard due to the lack of resources at their disposal. We’re shining the spotlight on these unsung British heroes as part of a long-term campaign, enabling you, the British public, to nominate the charities you would like to see featured on the homepage on the final Friday of each month via www.bing.com/HelpYourBritain.

Today is the turn of …

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ScrapstoresUK supports the reuse of unwanted scrap materials, enabling around 80,000 community groups to source high quality art and craft materials for little or no cost, through a network of 88 independent ‘scrapstores’ throughout the UK. Saving 10.5 million kilos of clean commercial and manufacturing industry waste from landfill per year, ScrapstoresUK not only teaches communities about environmental sustainability, but also provides children with otherwise unattainable materials to spark creativity and improve communication, problem solving and team working skills.

A day in the life of Cornwall Scrapstore’s Project Coordinator – Gary King

8.30am: The scrapstore day begins with a cup of tea for the volunteers and I; it’s a chance to have a quick chat and make sure we all know what’s planned for the day and what our tasks are. There’s only a few of us, so good communication and a team attitude mean we get quite a lot done. Once the volunteers are all set up with their tasks I have a walk through the store to make sure everything is ready for our members, making sure the shelves are fully stocked and the store is clean and tidy.

10.00am: The store opens and our first customers hurry in to begin their forage for materials. Once they’ve selected and bagged their items they’re deposited in the three bays we have for the storing items before removing to vehicles. Some people need a lot of materials especially if you have a whole class or even a school working on a project and this system means they can get a car full without having to carry it all around the scrapstore with them.

10.30am: While the volunteers serve the members I collect the day’s post from the mail box and deal with membership enquiries and cheques, make their membership cards and prepare them for posting out to new and renewing members.

11.00am: Time for the first collection of the day, off to visit a filter production factory fifteen miles away to collect two pallets of white and brown card plus additional plastic widgets and tubes. The other volunteers take care of the scrapstore whilst I’m out making sure everything stays topped up until I return with a full van of lovely scrap.

12.00 noon: Lunchtime is a chance for me to catch up on phone messages and anything I missed while out on the collecting the scrap oh and to have some lunch of course, moving scrap is tiring work.

<a href="http://video.uk.msn.com/?mkt=en-gb&amp;vid=ef78ce12-8517-4310-85f6-77333eb7917b&amp;from=&amp;src=v5:embed::" target="_new" title="Scrapstores UK">Video: Scrapstores UK</a>

1.00pm: Time to get the van unloaded and the new scrap safely stacked and stored, then a quick check of the shelves and replenishing any containers running low. The volunteers are brilliant at sorting and processing the scrap ready for reuse and today they’re cutting material to useable lengths, as well as sorting a box of plastic bits into tubs of similar sizes and colours.

2.00pm: With volunteers happy I head off on the second collection of the day, visiting a toy distributor to collect broken and returned items, cardboard tubes and reusable packaging waste. Returning to the store to unload the scrap into the storage area and check everyone’s ok.

3.30pm: The afternoon rush begins in with membership cards to check, requests from members to satisfy, shelves to replenish and advice on material usage to give. My favourite bit is hearing all the stories of performances, works of art, creative and play things people have done or have planned. It’s a really nice feeling to know that we help so many great things happen and even better when we get to see photos of the results.

4.00pm: The second wave of the afternoon rush starts with teachers arriving after their school day’s lessons have ended. Usually they are looking for special items for upcoming projects.

5.00pm: One final round of shelf filling and tidying before locking up and heading home to check the emails, catch up on correspondence, send out invoices, pay bills and drink tea.

If you would like to see your charity of choice take over the Bing homepage, you can nominate them here:

www.bing.com/HelpYourBritain Don’t forget to get involved with the conversation on Facebook and Twitter #HelpYourBritain

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