Swap shop goes live!



A group of women, brought together by a unique project, have set up a community swap shop.

The women, from Redcar, got the idea at a weekly coffee morning run by Step Forward Tees Valley at the Grangetown Neighborhood Centre.

Step Forward Tees Valley supports local people facing complex barriers to move forward with their lives. It works with people with mental health issues; debt; convictions; addictions; low self esteem and other issues. It is funded by the European Social Fund and the National Lottery, through the Big Lottery Fund.

The coffee morning was set up to help women in Redcar overcome isolation and improve their mental health and wellbeing. Some of the women came up with the idea of setting up a swap shop to share clothes they no longer wanted. Within an hour the women had planned a launch, date, a name and a venue for the event.

Participants and staff can bring unwanted items such as clothes, books, bags and bric-a-brac to the shop and swap them for something they need. It has been such a success that even staff from the Neighborhood Centre have joined in!

Jane, a Step Forward Tees Valley navigator, said: “It is such a great event. It gives the ladies a chance to meet in a safe place and they are already noticing the positive impact it is having on their own mental health”.

One of the participants said: “The group has helped me so much. It gets me out of the house and gives me something to feel proud of.”

Helen Collins, Step Forward Tees Valley programme manager, said: This is a great example of how Step Forward is encouraging local people to develop their own networks and groups. The groups then develop new initiatives like Swap Shop to benefit the members and the local community. We all have unwanted items that someone else can take use of, and Swap Shop enables this at no cost.”


To find out more about Step Forward Tees Valley call 01325 529210, or find us on facebook and twitter.

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