Inspiring creativity through recycling

11th December 2017

Kendal’s local community has been having fun gaining new skills and increasing in confidence through recycling, thanks to £5,680 from the Cumbria Fund and the Cumberland Building Society Charitable Foundation.

Ragtag Arts encourages local people of all ages and abilities to volunteer in their new Community Scrapstore.

An ‘Aladdin’s Cave’ of materials and creative inspiration, the scrapstore gives its volunteers the feeling of worth, purpose, belonging and achievement, while promoting the importance of recycling in the community.

Emily Jackson, Director of the group said: “By launching a scrapstore in Kendal and providing the community with affordable and interesting art materials, creative inspiration and workshops led by an experienced artist, we are supporting, promoting and enabling people to have creativity in their lives and therefore improving their well-being.”

Since the launch, Ragtag Arts now has well over 200 members, from all walks of life, using the store and benefiting from the workshops and resources.


Emily is well aware of the difference the project makes:  “One of our volunteers comes in every Tuesday; she has Down’s syndrome and when she started in October she was incredibly shy. We have been slowly teaching her different skills, such as serving customers, cashing up the till, sorting scrap, and administration. It has taken time and patience but she can now confidently serve our customers and do lots more. She is so proud of what she can do and looks forward to telling her mum how busy she has been.”

Ragtag Arts is part of a UK network of scrapstores and benefits from sharing ideas and resources with other scrapstores, regional and national ‘scrap swaps,’ and training and support from the ReusefulUK head office.