A charity shop that provides employment to islanders' with disabilities will soon be able to start selling large electrical goods, ranging from fridges to washing machines, thanks to a £800,000 boost.
Acorn's Trinity-based Reuse Centre was awarded the money from the Government's Fiscal Stimulus Fund - a money pot aimed at stimulating the island’s pandemic-hit economy.
The money will fund the charity’s plans to create a new purpose-built collections, deliveries and processing centre on the overflow parking, and expand into white goods.
A new overflow parking area will be created to the west of the site, where polytunnels are currently accommodated. The polytunnels will in turn be moved next to the existing Woodshack shed where they will be used to dry wood.
“We are delighted to be awarded this funding and would like to thank everyone at the Government of Jersey for making this happen,” Acorn General Manager, Steve Pearce, said.
“It will make a significant difference to us. Not only does it provide a better service to our customers, but it also streamlines our operation and creates more jobs and training for people who have a disability or long-term health condition.
“It will release shopfloor space which in turn will boost our revenue and help us employ more people. And, of course, it will provide work for local construction companies and help the island’s economy recover after the Covid pandemic.”
The charity said its plans would probably never have happened if it hadn’t been for the pandemic and the need to store donated goods for 72 hours, which led them to create a separate temporary donations and collections area away from the main shop, a set up that proved better “for staff and customers alike."
Pictured: Acorn's General Manager, Steve Pearce.
The new purpose-built, self-contained area, will also allow electrical testing and function testing of goods, enabling the charity to expand the range and quantity of goods that can be saved from the waste stream and further reduce their carbon footprint by the installation of solar panels.
“This will give us the space to expand into white goods such as washing machines, providing these goods at low cost for low-income families,” Mr Pearce said. “These goods will be tested to UK consumer standards prior to selling to the public. Currently there are over 200 washing machines alone that enter the waste stream per month.”
Plans have been submitted to the Planning Department. If approved, it is hoped that work will start in June, with completion expected by the end of November.
Tomorrow, Express will be looking at how Jersey Cheshire Home - a charity that provides residential care and therapy to physically disabled adults - will be benefiting from the Fiscal Stimulus Fund.
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