‹ Blog Home

Volunteering at the Work and Play Scrapstore

Posted on 22 Feb 2016

Today we've got a guest blog from the Work and Play Scrapstore, a re-use organisation, based in Tooting, South London. Their vision is to promote the artful re-use of reclaimable or lost resources for environmental and community benefit. They're sharing a special SVW opportunity with us…


If you’ve ever thought you that your daily university life hasn’t given you enough opportunity to get in touch with your creative side, or if you simply want to do something for your local community, there are plenty of opportunities throughout Student Volunteering Week to combine both goals.

You may not have heard of ‘Scrapstores’ before – they’ve been called ‘one of charity's best kept secrets’ – but you can find them all over the country. Here at Work and Play, in South West London, we’ve been helping people get cheap, clean arts and craft materials that otherwise would have ended up in landfill or incinerated for nearly thirty years. We couldn’t do any of this, however, without our amazing volunteers.

There’s nearly as many different reasons to volunteer as we have volunteers. For our older helpers, it's a great opportunity to get out the house and meet like-minded people; for the younger ones, it's a chance to do something fun and arty that will also look great on their CV.

Recently, we’ve had some great students come and volunteer with us, including Amy, who came to help out last Summer:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Scrapstore, helping out over the summer to create advertisement starter packs with samples of what the scrap store can provide for primary and secondary schools. My time there has helped to open my eyes to the beautiful sense of community, with a group of friendly volunteers and with the amazing amount of materials and objects that people brought in, feeling as though I fitted right in amongst the fabrics and arty materials. I enjoyed my time so much so that I hope to return again in the holidays!”

As well as having individuals come and volunteer on a regular basis, we also have special ‘volunteering days’, where groups of people from one place descend on us for a full day of helping out. Last year we had a great bunch from Google join us: by the end of their visit, a massive amount of work had been done, including fabric being sorted, wallpaper being guillotined, metres of ribbon and lace being wound, buckets and spades being put together, and many other jobs that we just hadn't had time to do ourselves.

What's also great about the 'irregular' volunteers we have come in is how many go on to become members. A student membership is only £30 a year, and can save someone studying an arts or crafts related subject hundreds of pounds a year, a significant amount at any time but especially in the current climate of cuts to the arts.


Video tour of the Scrapstore


Volunteering Opportunity

Join us for a day to help sort out and process our varied, wierd and wonderful donations in readiness for collection by our members. See our website here for more details about us: http://www.workandplayscrapstore.org.uk/

25th February from 10.00am-2pm. We could accommodate up to 10 students.

So if you're interested in volunteering for us, joining up, or simply finding out more, why not get in touch?

Susanne White

Susanne works for the Work and Play Scrapstore, a re-use organisation, based in Tooting, South London. Our vision is to promote the artful re-use of reclaimable or lost resources for environmental and community benefit.

Categories: Charities