A new 1,600sqm community Reuse Centre, which forms part of a project giving those with disabilities the opportunity to work and learn new skills, has flung open its doors.
Acorn launched its new Trinity-based charitable retail centre - Jersey's largest social enterprise project - on Wednesday.
It joins the Acorn Woodshack, Acorn Nursery and Café, and training workshops on the site, and will sell upcycled and repaired items collected at the Acorn collection depot at La Collette’s Household Recycling Centre.
The new Reuse Centre was officially opened by the Lieutenant Governor, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, at a special event also attended by States' CEO Charlie Parker and Chairman of the Jersey Employment Trust Board, Geoff Cook.
Jocelyn Butterworth, Executive Officer of the Jersey Employment Trust, commented: “We are really excited about this launch and enormously grateful to the companies which have helped with so many aspects of the building and refurbishment. Many firms and individuals have provided their time and resources to get this project up and running.”
“This new building is an amazing community facility which provides a way for tonnes of unwanted items to be upcycled and reused at a reasonable price by islanders. Every penny spent in our centre is reinvested in the charity furthering our goal to provide training and employment opportunities for people with a disability or long term health condition who otherwise would struggle to find employment.”
Mr Cook said that the opening of the centre marked an important milestone for the charity.
Pictured: Acorn's new store is Jersey’s largest social enterprise project.
“It will not only provide a better experience for customers, it is hoped that it will increase our revenue to enable the whole of Acorn to become self-financing by 2020, ensuring the future and enabling the good work of empowering people with disabilities to maximise their potential in the workplace," he said.
“We are very grateful to all the individuals and organisations that have donated funds or sponsored certain aspects of the build, without their support the completion of the build would not have been possible.”
The new shop comes with improved access for visitors. Vehicles will now enter the site from La Rue au Sellier rather than La Rue Asplet.
Facilities management company AFM helped out in getting the place set up. With a team of volunteers, a new toilet structure was built that will be used by staff and all visitors to the centre.
AFM Managing Director Mark Edgar, described the experience as "rewarding", adding: "The Acorn Reuse Centre does an excellent job of upcycling and reusing tonnes of unwanted items, providing training and employment opportunities, and helping lower income families enjoy an improved quality of life by providing the opportunity to buy reasonably priced, reused goods.
"The charity’s work is incredibly important to many islanders as well as the environment and therefore, when the opportunity arose to assist with the expansion project, we were delighted to help."
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