So as with all these encounters, there's always a bit of a back story. This one starts with my journey to work each day, which takes me past the Central Office of Changing Lives. The name had always appealed - I like the clear message that this charity is all about changing lives. When we started out here at Green Heart Collective, we accepted all donations of preloved items, primarily because our aim is to divert waste from landfill. As the months went on, the donations piled up and as we were not able to open up to the public, it was not easy to find new homes for them. In February when the weather was extremely cold, I contacted Alice at Changing Lives, offering some warm coats, blankets, jumpers gloves and scarves etc. When I dropped these items off at the city centre drop in run by Changing Lives, I knew that it was far better for these clothes to be keeping people warm rather than sitting unused in our warehouse.
When restrictions lifted, we ran a garage sale here at the warehouse where every item was £1. This was to clear space for displaying the items we had selected for our concept store that will be opening at the beginning of June. After the sale, I contacted Alice again to ask if she would be interested in the remaining items - and she said yes! Hopefully this will be the start of an ongoing partnership.
I'm always curious to find out more about people and organisations, so was delighted when Alice agreed to answer a few questions for our blog.
Tell us a little about yourself – what you like doing and what you’re passionate about.
I studied Fine Art at university and then did a masters in Creative and Cultural Industries Management. Throughout my time at university I planned several events which I am now passionate about and have been lucky enough to plan and run events at Changing Lives. I like to make a difference in the work that I do, to help make a difference to someone’s life so this role at Changing Lives is perfect for me!
What is Changing Lives?
Changing Lives is a nationwide charity helping people facing the most challenging of circumstances make positive change - for good. We believe that everyone deserves a safe home, a rewarding job and a life free from addiction or abuse. We know that given the right support, anyone can change their life for the better.
How long have you worked for Changing Lives and what is your role there?
I have worked at Changing Lives for over 3 years, my role is fundraising and events. I work with our projects to try get the items they need to make our services welcoming and a nice place to live. I also provide advice and support to all of our fundraisers, helping them to achieve their fundraising targets. I also plan and run events for Changing Lives to raise both money and the profile of the charity.
How will the items collected from Green Heart Collective be used in the work of Changing Lives?
The items collected from Green Heart Collective will go to our charity shop where they will help raise vital funds. These funds can help us to help more people overcome obstacles and live safe, successful and independent lives. People accessing our services will also be able to choose new outfits or items for their home from the items donated.
How can we as individuals support the work of Changing Lives?
We are always looking for fundraisers and volunteers to help fund and support the work we do as a charity. Donating items to our shop, small furniture items to our projects, Tv’s, tablets and mobile phones are always in high demand at our projects. Simple things such as liking and sharing our social media posts can also help spread the word about what Changing Lives do.
How does Changing Lives share our aim of reducing waste to landfill?
We ensure that anything we cannot take in our projects goes to our charity shop or we try to donate the items to other local charities. Nothing is wasted.
If you'd like to find out more about the work of Changing Lives, visit https://www.changing-lives.org.uk/.