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We urgently need to replace the roof of Exeter Scrapstore, which is a well loved heritage building and is home to our two charities, the Scrapstore and MGR Toy Library.
Please help us to exceed our goal of £5000 by donating to our cause and picking up a reward today. Your contribution will significantly boost the investment we need and will show just how much of a treasured resource we are in Exeter and beyond!
The cost for our roof fix has risen post-pandemic to £22,000 + VAT, a large amount of money for us to find... so we need your help today. If we are successful it is possible that we may be able gain match funding, taking us closer to our aim more quickly...
Charity Number: 1143182
Exeter Scrapstore is a project that collects factory/ business off-cuts and surplus materials and makes it available for community re-use in education, play and creative activities. Less waste goes to landfill and the community gains access to high-quality, low-cost resources.
The materials we offer are raw materials, for example cardboard and fabric. Our users purchase them from us and take them to their settings to use in education, skills development, play and social activities which bring people together.
We are used by projects which aim to build communities, address social isolation and economic poverty. We work as part of a network to support collaborative work and are very much in touch with community builders working in our area.
We strive to be an open access service giving individuals and organisations, children and families fair access to a variety of materials for the most benefit in the community.
This Crowdfunder is raising funds for the roof but the real 'project' is the continuation of the Scrapstore for the benefit of the community. We are a community hub - a place where people come together to connect through creativity. A place to share ideas, build networks and think sustainably, now and for the future.
We run a van and rent storage space in the city which allows us to collect, store, swap and replenish our resources regularly. This keeps us up with regular business collections - which are much needed and allows us flexibility to swap for other more useful materials.
'I’ve used Exeter Scrapstore for ten years and can honestly say that without it the learning experiences of our children would not have the richness and high quality we give them – it’s a really unique service'. Assistant Head, Honiton Primary School
Our charity is used by a cross section of the community including Care Homes, Occupational Therapists, Art Therapists and Mental Health practitioners who offer social prescribing, as well as well-being practitioners.
During the spring/ summer of 2020 we delivered a Big Lottery funded outreach project which allowed us to get out into the community to deliver materials. We ran a succesfull pilot scheme collaborating with food banks in order to get activity packs and learning materials directly to families who may be experiencing poverty and inequality.
Based in the heart of the city we are near to main bus routes, the High Street and there is also parking on the road. Anyone can use our Scrapstore and benefit from our materials.
Our Mobile Scrapstore first took to the roads in the spring/ summer of 2020. It allowed us to reach groups, organisations and families that couldn't come to us during the pandemic. We set up a safe and reliable socially distanced delivery service and ran it in the local area.
We were supported by the National Lottery Community Fund and reached many Schools and groups still operating during that time. Since then we have continued getting out and about to as many groups in need as we can with this - we find our members love a visit from us!
We have estimated end users to be near to 20,000 based on how many groups, organisations, families and Schools that use us and the numbers they interact with using our materials.
We raise awareness about the benefits of re-use and recycling. Prior to the pandemic we were redirecting over 2,000 full bin bags of creative materials away from away from landfill every year by turning them in to useful resources instead.
Our charity aims to address climate change by preventing off-cuts. surplus and bi-product waste from landfill for reuse. We encourage people to take part in the circular economy and drive a strong message of sustainability, resourcefulness and 'compound flexibility'.
The Merry Go Round Toy & Leisure Library share our building. They offer a unique toy borrowing library service for families and groups with children aged from a few months to early teens. Many of their toys promote inclusion, with some specially designed for children with disabilities. They also have a wide range of resource books and multicultural toys. They are lovely neighbours!
We continue to gain funding for project work and love getting out in to the community to play, be creative and to share the benefits of recycling with all age groups and cultural backgrounds. We've been lucky enough to have committed volunteers raising funds for projects as well as supporting at events through volunteering opportunities. We always join in with the wonderful RESPECT Festival in Belmont Park, our home.
Arial photo taken during WW2
The army huts scheme was first sanctioned by the City’s Estate Committee in September 1932 which stated that if the military required army huts in the city then Belmont Pleasure Ground could be used.
In 1938 an area was taken over and trenches were dug to prepare the erection of army huts for the use of clerical workers in connection with the Army Pay and Record Office. This was in a fenced off area of the park where Newtown Football Club used to play matches against teams such as neighbours Polsloe Road, with regular attendances ranging from 200 to 300.
The first two army huts had been erected by June 1939, it was anticipated that the huts would need to be used for a maximum of two years. Huts were initially used by the Royal Army Pay Corps, and by 1940 were being shared by the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), the women’s branch of the army. Group 12 South West of the ATS led by Group Commandant Miss K Acland were based at the huts.
Members addressed one another by surnames only, saluted their officers, and assembled every morning for physical training before work. Many members, including school teachers and private secretaries, gave up their jobs to serve their country in these huts in the park. Most of them were from Exeter, plus other areas of Devon, however there were even members from Canada and Australia.
To serve members a canteen was opened in Belmont Pleasure Ground on 15th January 1940. Consisting of two huts which were interconnecting, the building was provided by the military.
One hut was used for recreational purposes, and the other comprising the canteen, was under the care of the Soroptimist Club of Exeter who arranged teams of volunteer workers to serve three meals a day to about 200 people. The club also supplied most of the furnishings.
In total twenty huts were built during the war covering half of Belmont Pleasure Ground, one of the huts had a wooden floor and was used to store machinery. The ATS continued to use the huts for the remainder of the war. *(Girl Power!)* After the end of the war the huts were being used for O.I.C. Infantry Records.
On Monday 13th January 1947 Exeter’s Technical Training College moved to the twenty huts in Belmont Pleasure Ground when the Infantry Records moved to the Higher Barracks. The college continued to use the huts for the next few decades until the 1980s when the number of huts gradually reduced leaving only two.
With the removal of the hut that was used by Newtown Community Association (replaced with a modern larger building) the Scrapstore is the last remaining built during the military during the Second World War. It shows how Belmont Pleasure Ground was transformed during the conflict and for the next few decades. The hut is a reminder of how the city of Exeter was transformed during the war, the hut is therefore of importance to the city’s history.
Words and information provided by local Historian Michael Parrot
Amazing mixed media original artwork
40cm x 30cm
by Chloe Uden - fabulous local Illustrator and Matt Harvey - treasured Devon based Poet and Writer.
1 x Semi-Relief Cardboard Portraits
1 x Cardboard Hand
54cms height x 43cms width Screen print 4/5
To all the wonderful Artists and Community Groups who have contributed generous rewards to this Crowdfunder.
Charity Number: 1143182
Company Number: 07619244