How the Scrapstore Works
Collecting materials from companies in Gedling Borough (or further afield on occasion)
The van goes out to the donor company and the volunteers, usually Ebrahim and Gary, must load the materials onto the van by hand. Once back at the Resource Centre the van is unloaded.
Some collections are a one-off – this means that they come from an individual, family or from a company as a single donation. Other materials are regular collections – such as fabric from Hillary’s Blinds, vinyl from Blueprint.
We also accept pre-arranged donations from individuals and companies at the Resource Centre.
Whilst the van is out, back at base, if we haven’t already done it, we are working out where the new stock is going to be put. We will be considering any safety issues – for example sharp edges, weight and height of the stock – and whether we need to process it to make it more accessible, cutting fabric into useable pieces for example. We will also be thinking about how items might be turned into play and craft activities.
Once the donations are back on site, the van is unloaded ready to go out on another day, either collecting or to deliver a free play event.
Some materials will need processing to make them more accessible to members to collect and to ensure that they are fairly distributed. This entails cutting up rolls of fabric into pieces, bagging up smaller items, rolling up ribbon and tape, or bundling up items such as cards. This work is done our team of volunteers who ensure that the Resource Centre and Scrapstore is well-stocked, clean and tidy for visitors.
The Resource Centre and Scrapstore
Gedling Play Forum is almost entirely staffed by volunteers, which is why are opening hours are limited.
We currently open 10am-4pm Tuesdays, 10am-5.30pm Thursdays, and the first Saturday of each month 10am-1pm (unless we have an event that day – see Play Events).
During our opening hours you will find our team of volunteers busy processing materials, stocking shelves, reorganising stock, tidying, preparing activities for events and making craft packs for selling in the shop. They are also on hand to give new visitors a tour of the Centre, answer any questions and to help with ideas for using materials should you need. There are also admin volunteers busy behind the scenes answering telephone calls and emails, maintaining our membership database and all the other necessary duties that help the Play Forum run effectively. An important part of this is ensuring that volunteers are kept refreshed: everyone helps with making drinks and keeping the kitchen clean and tidy.
We also have a small garden that is maintained by volunteers. Visitors are welcome to sit out there on a sunny (or not so sunny) day. We also use the garden to hold our fundraising open days.
The materials that come into the Scrapstore are used in a variety of ways for the benefit of the community.
- Fabric is made into bags for local Food Banks.
- We also use fabric to make bags, peg bags, toy bags etc for raising funds to go toward keeping Gedling Play Forum running.
- Low-cost resources for members: from individuals to schools, childminders to after-school clubs, members can access the scrapstore for materials to use for crafting and play. There is a small additional charge for materials for family and individual members of £4 or £6 per basket. We also operate a fair usage policy, so we may limit a particular resource or on occasion the number of times a group/member can visit.
- Training workshops. We run skill-sharing workshops for groups and the public. Past workshops have focussed on weaving with waste, making notebooks, decorating bottles: all utilising scrap from our shelves.
- Groups. We have a sewing group where anyone can learn to sew, share their sewing skills with learners, work on their own project or make bags for food banks and fundraising.
- Hire equipment. We have a range of equipment that can be hired by community groups at low cost, from physical play to crafts such as pyrography and papermaking. Some of this equipment came to us with the closure of Broxtowe Play Forum in 2022.
Our largest community benefit is the Free Play Eventsthat we put on, supported by Gedling Borough Council and other community groups. These happen all year round at various venues across the Borough.
At our play events we recycle and repurpose materials from our scrap store to put together creative activities for people of all ages: we are keen on multigenerational involvement in our events so parents can expect to be encouraged to do an activity alongside their child, rather than with.
We are also keen to promote traditional play, whether this be physical play or games with old toys such as yo-yo’s and spinning tops. We have a range of traditional play equipment that you will see at events during the summer months in 2023. Alongside the equipment we also make traditional games from scrap resources or put on an activity for visitors to make their own, again from recycled waste: peg dolls, puppets, pinwheels are just a few examples.