What is The Scrap Space?
The Scrap Space is a new project by Adur based community arts non profit Over the Moon, bringing a combined scrapstore and creative community activity space to West Sussex.
We are fundraising towards costs of setting up and running a premises for The Scrap Space.
What is a Scrapstore?
A scrapstore takes in donations of clean, safe, reusable commercial and personal waste and redistributes it at low cost to individuals and organisations for creative reuse. The aim of a scrapstore is to stop materials being thrown away and provide a low cost source of materials for art, craft, play and DIY. Scrapstores are established in various locations (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrapstore) but there are none in or near West Sussex.
How will The Scrap Space operate?
The Scrap Space will operate from a premises in Adur in West Sussex, on the South Coast between Brighton and Worthing. The premises will have a scrapstore area for public browsing and purchasing of scrap, an area for activities such as workshops and kids’ play sessions and an office, storage and sorting area away from the public.
Scrap donations will be sought from businesses, other organisations and individuals with an offer of free collection of donations. Businesses will be incentivised to donate by saving money on waste disposal and contributing to their corporate social responsibility targets and anybody donating will feel good knowing their unwanted stuff is going to good use and they are doing something positive for the environment and community.
Provision of community activity sessions alongside the scrapstore will provide inspiration of what can be done with the scrap on offer from the scrapstore and other reclaimed materials and the space will be an affordable and welcoming community venue to get creative and get together with others. Activity sessions will include preschool messy play, art and craft, adult social sessions, the Adur Repair Cafe and taught workshops, some run by ourselves and some by collaborators hiring the space from us.
The activity space will also be offered for community hire for events such as children's parties, corporate outings and hen parties, with or without accompanying activity packs, and third parties will be able to hire the space to run their own activity sessions that fit in with the range and ethos of The Scrap Space activity program.
To purchase scrap, it will be necessary to be a member of The Scrap Space, with membership options including individual, household, small group, school, low income memberships and different length memberships available. Once a member, certain types and amounts of raw scrap will be available free and other items at low cost. Members will also have priority notice of advance booking activity sessions and reduced rates for some activities and for hiring the space.
As well as selling raw scrap, The Scrap Space will put together and sell curated materials packs and craft kits incorporating reclaimed materials. Scrap, materials packs and craft kits will also be sold online and be distributed to local low income families through organisations such as Adur Community Gateway.
The Scrap Space will also be used as a base for working on Over the Moon events taking place in the wider community.
Why do we need The Scrap Space?
The Scrap Space project addresses the huge global environmental problem of how much and what stuff we buy, how we treat it and how we dispose of it. This affects the entire planet and its inhabitants in well documented ways such as climate change caused by energy usage to process and transport stuff and pollution of the environment from stuff that is thrown away.
A scrapstore helps the environment by increasing reuse of stuff, which both reduces how much stuff is reprocessed or even worse, thrown away, and how much new (and probably overpackaged) stuff is bought. Usually, a better environmental choice for a consumer comes with an increased financial cost. However, by providing scrap at low cost, a scrapstore enables people to save money at the same time as helping the planet.
The Scrap Space will benefit wellbeing and decrease social isolation at the same time as helping the environment. Provision of community activity sessions alongside the scrapstore provides inspiration of what can be done with the scrap on offer from the scrapstore as well as offering people an affordable and welcoming place to get creative and get together with others. The wellbeing benefits of being creative are well documented and creative and hands on activities are a great tool to bring people together and stave off the loneliness, isolation and lack of connection that can affect people from all walks of life and all sectors of society, regardless of age and wealth.
Currently, despite there being there being more than 100 scrapstores throughout the UK, there is no scrapstore in or near to West Sussex. The Scrap Space would fulfill a real need in the West Sussex area at this time when concrete action needs to be taken to reset the way we live so as to treat the planet more carefully and derive more value from interactions with others rather than from the pursuit of new stuff.
Who are we?!
We are Over the Moon: a non-profit community arts organisation which aims to spread the joys of creativity and community throughout Adur. We have a strong focus on sustainability (using donated and waste materials) and on skillsharing (using local expertise to organise activities and teach workshops), which helps to equip and inspire people to carry on with creative, sustainable and community activity throughout their lives. We have been formalised as a community interest company since 2017 (full name Over the Moon Shoreham C.I.C., company number 10705567). We are funded by a mixture of grant funding, event income and donations and more recently, online sales and we are expert at taking creative reuse to the maximum and making a little budget go a long way.
We run creative community projects in Adur for all ages, with a focus on creative reuse and craft practice. We aim to increase wellbeing through the process of making, through formation and strengthening of communities when people create together and through inspiration for continuing with affordable, environmentally conscious, creative activity.
As an established local community arts organisation with a positive track record of activity within Adur, we are run by and for community members and have an ongoing dialogue with local residents. We talk to people in person, both chatting to individuals and families who take part activities we put on and having discussions with other local organisations we collaborate with such as local councils, charities, local businesses and festival organisers. We also encourage feedback through our website and email and through social media. We use local expertise and local volunteering time for our projects. We obtain feedback from people who attend our activities about what they would like to see more of and what improvements we could make. We make use of social media, local press, 'what's on' listings and a range of community information points to publicise our activities and invite people to participate and to help out by volunteering.
Why does Over the Moon want to set up The Scrap Space?
At the core of everything Over the Moon does has been making use of repurposed, salvaged, recycled and donated materials and inspiring others to do the same. Building on our previous projects, we want to further spread the message of the benefits of sustainability, creativity and community and put creative reuse of materials centre stage.
Over the Moon is well known locally and individuals, local organisations and businesses already donate materials and are grateful to put their waste to good use. The donations get used in activity sessions and more recently, in low priced craft packs we distribute to those in need and sell online.
Throughout the activities we have put on over the years, a constant theme is of people appreciating the potential benefits of creative reuse and having good intentions to embrace this, but lacking confidence and ideas to make it part of their daily lives. People really appreciate the inspiration and skills they learn from attending creative community sessions and can then put these to good use going forwards in their daily lives. Although
reusing stuff and being creative about it is second nature to us, it is still not to many people and particularly with the now parlous state of the environment we have been driven to increasingly emphasise the benefits of putting sustainability at the heart of creative community endeavours.
Over the Moon’s current and previous projects
Recent Over the Moon projects include running a pop up venue in Shoreham-by-Sea, The Moon Space, for 5 months up until March 2020, which hosted creative community activity sessions for all ages led by both volunteers and paid practitioners. This built on our previous experience running kids’ and adults’ activities in other local venues and included sessions run by ourselves and sessions run by third parties who either rented space or collaborated with us. Past large scale public events include the REclaim creative community recycling festival incorporating a 3 day outdoor event and the YARN 20/20 community yarnbombing project culminating in a yarn trail from Lancing to Southwick. We also set up and run the Adur Repair Cafe.
The Moon Space pop up venue we ran demonstrated the interest in a dedicated hub of community activity sessions ranging from informal social sessions to skills teaching and in the opportunity to buy second hand crafting materials. The success of the REclaim community recycling festival we put on demonstrated support for the combination of creativity and environmental concern.
How will The Scrap Space happen?
We are currently working on securing a suitable initial premises for The Scrap Space at the same time as getting together as big a pot of funds as we can to give The Scrap Space the best start we can.
We currently have a small storage unit and are already collecting some smaller items of scrap to put towards the stash for The Scrap Store. We are also already selling packs of materials online and distributing packs through Adur Community Gateway.
We have a network of trusted local contacts and a strong local social media presence built up over the years through which we are spreading the word about The Scrap Space, both to solicit donations of scrap and to encourage custom when we are able to open to the public. We have supportive relationships with volunteers, artisans, local councils, businesses and other non profit organisations, as well as with members of the public.
Customers of the The Scrap Space will include scrap buying individuals, families, community groups, nurseries, schools, artists, craft practitioners and people undertaking DIY projects. Customers attending community activity sessions will include parents with preschool kids, school age kids, adults of all ages wanting to learn new skills and wanting a social destination where they can also take part in activities.
Our longer term plan for funding The Scrap Space is for it to be funded by a mixture of grant funding and donations and income from memberships, sale of scrap, sale of items made from scrap such as craft kits (including online sales), activity session fees and fees from hiring out the activity space. The Scrap Space would aim to eventually become financially self supporting if possible. Initially The Scrap Space will initially be staffed by volunteers and this could expand to add paid staff and work experience placements.
The Scrap Space project has the potential to expand in many related directions. These include: expanding the types of scrap redistributed to include categories such as building materials; running work placement programs; hosting repair cafes; housing libraries of things such as a tool library; having a sustainable in house cafe and having a refill shop. We envisage starting off The Scrap Space on a scale currently manageable and then gradually growing in size and scope.
What will we spend the funds raised on?
Funds raised from donations and grants will be put towards the overheads associated with setting up and running a premises. These costs include rental, insurance, professional fees, utilities and fitting out the premises.
We hope that you will support our project and as well as being very grateful for any donation you pledge towards The Scrap Space project, we'd love to hear from you if you'd like to be involved in any way such as volunteering with us or donating scrap.