Solar panels will reduce costs for our community spirited charity, help us provide more free accredited training AND good for environment :)
Storeroom2010 is a small independent charity, operating without the benefits of statutory funding. Situated on the Isle of Wight in an area which suffers disproportionally high unemployment and child poverty compared to many other areas in the UK, Storeroom2010 enables disadvantaged families to affordably furnish their homes, improve their quality of life and keep their dignity. Our doors are open to everyone.
This year we were winners of The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the MBE for Volunteer Groups.
In a nutshell the purpose of Storeroom2010 charity and its objectives are threefold: -
- The prevention and relief of poverty by supplying donated furniture and household goods at minimal cost to people in need
- The protection and preservation of the environment by encouraging re-use/recycling of donated furniture and household goods
- The relief of unemployment for the benefit of the public in such ways as may be thought fit, including the provision of training, employment, work experience and volunteering opportunities
We have developed Storeroom Education to assist our local community which is suffering from high unemployment and deprivation. The effect of this project is direct improvement in the provision unemployed people have, enabling them to benefit from free or low cost accredited training for specific employment openings. Storeroom Education also offer various activities and life skills classes.
Savings made from our electricity costs, once we have solar panels, will enable us to provide even more help to Storeroom Education.
The benefits of Solar Panels to Storeroom are threefold: -
1. Solar panels would reduce electricity costs for the charity
2. This would release monies which could be used towards our Education projects
3. Turning on more lights would brighten up the premises making our stock look more attractive
The learners at Storeroom Education regularly carry out Social Enterprise projects for our island community and to raise funds to provide even more free accredited training.
Giving people a real skill and the certificate that proves to the world just what they have achieved, is great not only for employment purposes, but also for their own satisfaction, giving them the confidence to try other things and move forwards.
During 2016 Storeroom Education saw 221 learners aged 18+. Most were with us for our accredited NOCN courses in Level 1 Carpentry & Joinery in Construction, Level 2 Carpentry & Joinery in Construction, Health & Safety in a Construction Environment (in preparation for application for CSCS card in order to work on building sites) or our Emergency First Aid At Work (Health & Safety Executive approval) which was very popular with people looking for a career in care, where there are usually many positions available on the Isle of Wight.
The Skills Gap training we provide at Storeroom2010 is open to all clients aged 18+ and provides additional support to those with higher needs. Most courses are free to the unemployed and have no restrictions to any individual based on gender, ill health, disabilities or employment status, nor do we exclude those with mental health issues or those in recovery from substance abuse. We also support ex-offenders with the facilities to start again, learn new skills and be able to provide disclosure to future employers.
NOCN only award a pass or fail for their courses and although our learners manage to complete the courses, all do not pass. When this happens we can apply for an award from NOCN which is especially beneficial for learners who either excel at practical or written work. Additionally, Storeroom has an open door policy, enabling learners who have not been able to complete a course and achieve the NOCN certificate, due to temporary work, ill health or life complications, to return to their studies in a renewed attempt to complete the course.
What else does Storeroom2010 achieve for the Isle of Wight? Well, Storeroom enables Island residents to recycle, thereby helping their community and the environment too. Our figures for 2016 show we have assisted with the re-use of 174,360kgs of furniture, saving this from our island landfill. It’s difficult to imagine that weight, so think of 5,588 average armchairs instead! Phew! Much better to be re-used than squashed into landfill.
Customers in need, benefit from a discount (when referred by statutory and voluntary agencies) on Storeroom's already very reasonable prices. Currently, approximately 9% of our customers are referred by one of 50 support agencies across the Isle of Wight.
Storeroom2010 provides volunteer opportunities, community placements and work experience to those seeking a route to employment; ultimately enabling the building of confidence and transferable skills in a framework of support. We have seen people ‘change’ over the space of just a few days and become more socially interactive and pleased they have found something they can do and enjoy.
At the Isle of Wight Chamber of Commerce Business Award for Excellence 2016, held in December, Storeroom2010 won the Business in the Community Award.
The benefits of solar energy go way beyond helping just our charity; it will help our whole country. If all premises had solar panels or solar tiles on their roofs it would help enormously. Solar power made a new UK record earlier this year!