‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, that is certainly Scrapstore’s thought process. Their space in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is jampacked with bits and bobs.

An arm of the Birmingham Play Care Network (BPCN), the Scrapstore, has been working hard to support families across the city during the pandemic.

Set up in 2011, they take clean business waste, one-off donations and upcycle it – ready for play environments across the city! However, with the closure of centres and schools many children went without vital stimulation.

Emma Payne, Business Development Manager at BPCN, explained the challenges faced by families:

“We’ve found over the pandemic that a high proportion of families don’t have enough money to put the heating on, buy food or clothes for their children. To have some play stuff with their families comes sixth, seventh, eighth down their list.”

A grant of £8,500 from the Doing Things Differently Fund has helped them distribute more than 3,000 craft packs across the city.

Emma continued:

“When we got the grant we had a call to arms! Pippa manages the Scrapstore and squirrels away at home coming up with loads of ideas. She thinks ‘what have we got in the Scrapstore?’


“Somebody donated 1,000 egg boxes so she thought we could do some egg box portraits. Then it’s off to the volunteers who beaver away at home ensuring every family has the stuff in their bags and away they go!”

Luckily, on our visit, we were joined by volunteers Sue and Pearl – their first visit in a year!

Sue said:

“Coming back today was quite emotional, to be part of the team again is brilliant. We’ve been working all through lockdown making bags and folders. It’s kept us going, it’s kept me sane! Then they pick it up and drop another load off, it’s good.”

Pearl added:

“Motivational wise you know you’re doing a bit of good. You’re starting off stopping things going into landfill, ‘you’re saving the world’ – it’s small but it’s a start and then you’re helping the families. It’s nice that it’s going to the children, it kept us going.”

Read more case studies from our Annual Review 2020/21 here.

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