Charities step back in time to help those in need
Published by kerri smith for Reach the People Charity in Housing and also in Communities
L-R Peter Newton, Boys’ Brigade with shop manager Carl Franklin
A vintage charity shop in Birmingham has received a trove of items from yesteryear to stock its shelves after joining forces with another city charity to ensure nothing donated to help vulnerable people in the region goes to waste.
Trident Reach the People Charity, which supports vulnerable people across the Midlands, and homeless charity Sifa Fireside opened Birmingham’s first vintage and retro charity shop six months ago and have been delighted at the response to date.
The Boys' Brigade & Girls' Association in Birmingham has now come forward to support the Forgotten Vintage charity shop in Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row. The Association regularly collects donations of clothing from generous householders throughout Birmingham and the Black Country and has agreed to pass any items not suitable for its own shops in Erdington and Shirley on to Forgotten Vintage.
Items unearthed so far have included a World War II RAF jacket, a Chinese silk dress, an assortment of ‘40s and ‘50s costume jewellery and a stunning ‘50s wedding dress.
Ann Reaney, project manager for the Boys’ Brigade, says she had been previously trying to sell vintage items donated to the charity at specialist vintage fairs.
She says: “When I heard about Forgotten Vintage I knew straight away that some of our donations would certainly fit in with the eclectic range of items they stock and it made much more sense to work with them.
“I arranged for their shop manager, Carl Franklin, to visit our warehouse in Newtown, and he was delighted with some of the things he found.
“Vintage is a real hobby of mine but far closer to my heart are those people who are homeless or struggling on a low income to maintain a tenancy.”
The Boys’ Brigade receives a donation from Forgotten Vintage for the vintage items, which goes towards its ground-breaking ‘Grow A Job’ campaign. So far, a total of six permanent jobs for young unemployed people aged between 18 and 24 have been directly funded through the sale of unwanted clothing and household textiles donated by people in the West Midlands.
Ann says: “Every 100 black bin bags of unwanted items collected is worth up to £600. That’s enough money for us to provide one month’s employment for a young person in our new enterprise.
“More black bags equal more opportunities and better prospects for the young people of our city. It’s that simple.”
The Boys’ Brigade is also hoping to help Forgotten Vintage and Trident Reach by supplying donated furniture in the near future. This is desperately needed by families and individuals being supported by the charity which works with those most in need in local communities, including those who are homeless and being supported into moving into new accommodation.
Richard Leighton, in-house social entrepreneur for Trident Reach says: “We are very grateful indeed for the support we have received from The Boys Brigade.
“They have gone out of their way to supply our charity shop with retro and vintage items and the furniture they are able to give us will benefit our 3,000 service users in accommodation across the Midlands. This is a partnership with small beginnings which will have a big impact on people’s lives.”
Simon Hackett; SIFA Fireside Development Manager said “A big thank you to the Boys Brigade for all their help to support the shop and as a result some of the most vulnerable in our community”
To donate items to Forgotten Vintage, visit the store in Great Western Arcade, Colmore Row, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact shop manager Carl Franklin on 07564 603936