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Exeter charity’s furniture upcycling workshop for unemployed gets £10,195 funding boost      

Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI), a local charity based in Exeter, has received a £10,195 funding boost to run a furniture upcycling workshop for the unemployed.

Funded by the European Social Fund, the 10-week workshop started on 7 October but will accept starters for up to three weeks. It is open to anyone registered unemployed or economically inactive and considering moving towards employment or education.

Run by ECI’s Remade project, the workshop will teach attendees how to restore old pieces of furniture such as a chest of drawers and side table which can then either be sold or kept for personal use.

As well as the learning practical upcycling skills such as painting, woodwork and how to use tools, individual advice & information will also be given around work and learning opportunities.

The workshop will take place at Men in Sheds in St Thomas and be taught by Hannah Scott from Exeter-based Flipped and Vintage which specialises in furniture transformation.   Hannah will also cover the steps required to sell upcycled furniture on-line and through other markets.

Exeter Community Initiatives helps people facing poverty, inequality and homelessness to get their lives back on track by involving them in community projects to improve their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing, increase their sense of belonging and provide skills to help them succeed in life. 

Steven Chown, ECI Chief Executive, said: “We’re thrilled to receive funding from the European Social Fund to enable our Remade project to deliver this fantastic, practical course. The aim of Remade is to make the invisible, visible.   So by restoring an old piece of furniture that was invisible to most people, workshop attendees learn new skills, experience the satisfaction that comes with bringing a piece of furniture back to life and hopefully uncover a few of their own hidden talents along the way. The course starts in early October, so anyone interested should get in touch as soon as possible as spaces are limited.”

Kate, a previous course attendee, said: “Remade’s furniture upcycling workshop offered the perfect level of skills. My confidence was really low initially. Job interviews were demoralising. The course helped me build my confidence a lot in a really supportive atmosphere. I made a beautiful wooden stool and I even found a job!”

If you’d like to book a space on the course or are unsure about your eligibility, please contact Jane at ECI for a chat on 07547 958156 or email [email protected]