Project affiliate - Aviva Plc logo image

Employability Skills & Sustainable Fashion

by New-U in Norwich, England, United Kingdom


raised of £2,000 target


51% 18 days left
Flexible funding – this project will receive all pledges made by 7th October 2020 at 11:59pm

To better the lives of unemployed young people, increasing confidence & skills through work experience in our clothes swap shop

by New-U in Norwich, England, United Kingdom

Helping disadvantaged young people into work

Our vision is that unemployed young people are given the chance to succeed and the wider community has a unique opportunity to contribute towards sustainable fashion - an unlikely combination but it works!

New-U gives individualised support to people furthest from work regardless of culture or background, particularly those with hidden disabilities and anxiety. This first step in a flexible and supportive atmosphere learning social skills, communication and realising own strengths within a team is vital to help anyone reach their full potential.  We offer work experience placements and workshops in our clothes & accessories swap shop.

We are a safe and welcoming space where disadvantaged young people can progress at their own pace with structured support many interacting with the public for the first time.  The realisation that they are helping us to help others put clothing back into circulation as wearable items is a much needed positive and empowering experience.  

In 2019 New-U helped 40 young people to better their lives and move towards work, with 88% reporting a positive outcome.  Listen to Zak explain how New-U helped him kick start his career:.


Helping with interviews

We appreciate that any interview is a daunting and nerve-wracking prospect.  For someone with little or previous work experience, or suffering from anxiety, these feelings are intensified.  Our free smart clothes loan scheme  gives people a boost;  knowing and feeling you are appropriately dressed is key to feeling self-assured.    Our loan scheme is unconditional and clothing can be kept if needed again or returned for  future use by others.

Helping protect our precious planet

We are proud to make swapping available to the Norwich community.  We provide an easy way for society to reduce the negative affect of the textiles industry and give people the choice of something valuable in return.    

last year we facilitated the swapping of over 30,000 items of clothing.  This equates to a staggering saving on the equivalent new items of  9 billion litres of water and 6 million kilograms of CO2.  Just think what a difference we can make over the next few years .....

Helping the general public to feel and look good

Swapping clothes is available to anyone and a great way to re-vamp your wardrobe at no cost.  Too many wearable items of clothing are stashed in garages, lofts and wardrobes.  New-U makes it easy to put them back into circulation giving them a whole new lease of life time and time again


Helping us diversify to support more people in 2020 & beyond

2020 continues to be a challenging year but we re-opened safely in July  and from September we will be ready to welcome the increasing number of young people suffering with low level mental issues caused by unemployment and social isolation.   We have also been supplying clothing bundles to people who have been severely financially impacted by the coronavirus. 

We want to expand to swap books and games which will give us more space to offer a higher number of work placements and host employability workshops.  We are keen to teach upcycling skills  and run 'make do & mend' sessions.

£2000 will allow us to create a more spacious  friendly, welcoming area where young people can help us to plan and run our future events and workshops.  .  Post Covid-19 this space is even more crucial to make participants feel safe.


“I just wanted to say thank you for all your support with the participants I have referred to New U work experience so far. I will definitely be referring more. Without exception, each participant has spoken really highly of the experience at New U. They have all said that the staff are great and found you all really approachable and helpful".  Referral partner

Harley - one of our work experience young people

Before Harley started his work placement, he was socially isolated, having spent the best part of 5 years in his bedroom.  Working hours and tasks were flexible and initially his preference was to be behind the scenes in the stockroom.  Despite still suffering with anxiety, Harley has developed strategies to overcome this whilst in the shop with our support.  He has progressed towards independence and employment and recognises the positive difference this opportunity has made to his life.

“My mum and I regularly use your shop and I wanted to say how impressed we were with the young man who was working behind the till today.  Although we could tell he was nervous, he came across as confident, really polite and made our visit really lovely.” – Customer feedback on Harley. 


"I love here, everyone one so nice and makes me feel part of the team.  I have learned a lot about customer service and made new friends"  - Paula, work experience participant

And Finally .... exactly how does the swap work:

1) Customers bring in up to 10 quality, undamaged, clean items (per day) which are swapped for swap tokens.  E.g. a Next dress would be exchanged for 8 tokens

2) Browse our rails of lovely clothes and accessories and choose items to spend your 'points' on.  

3) Tokens have no expiry date and change is given in the form of tokens

4) People in need of clothing without anything to swap are given points gifted by our wonderful customers

AND ..... We've recently launched 50:50 where New-U sells online quality items with a high value on the customers behalf.  50% of the proceeds go to our charity and 50% goes back to the customer, win win ! 

We appreciate your support to help us deliver vital work in the Norwich community

Please donate £1, £5, £20 or whatever you can spare


Chance to win a Rapanui voucher with £10+ donation: - sustainable clothing made in UK that can be returned and recycled 


This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£20 or more

20 swap points for every £20 donation + prize draw

20 swap point for £20 donation PLUS entry into a draw to win £100 Rapanui voucher. Swap points can be exchanged for items in our shop in Norwich (approx value £10) If you are not local to Norwich or do not want the points, please gift them to families in need of clothing. This gives those in need a chance to 'shop' and choose clothing for themselves and/or their family.

£10 or more

10 swap points for £10 donation + prize draw

10 swap point for £10 donation PLUS entry into a draw to win £50 Rapanui voucher. Swap points can be exchanged for items in our shop in Norwich (approx value £5.) If you are not local to Norwich or do not want the points, please gift them to families in need of clothing. This gives those in need a chance to 'shop' and choose clothing for themselves and/or their family.

Let's make 'Employability Skills & Sustainable Fashion' happen

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