Project information

Out of the Box

Out of the box up-cycles clothing that is either too worn or inappropriate to be given to the people we support, into individual fashion accessories and home furnishing that will be sold at craft markets and on-line. Items will be produced and sold by vulnerable women.


Charity information: Thames Valley Partnership

Thames Valley Partnership
  • Need


    Social exclusion and lack of skill in vulnerable women who we support leading to better employment opportunities and new social contacts. Funds generated from the sales will be returned to support the enterprise and the women taking part.


    Working in partnership with a multi-agency team we will provide a safe place for women to come and develop their creative sides. The women will learn sewing and crafting skills and will be involved in preparing items for sale on-line (IT skills), selling to the public and basic money and business management (profit and loss, budget management, stock inventory). This will lead to increased self confidence and increased skills and employability.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase social inclusion, self worth and skills of vulnerable women


    » Offer group arts and crafts afternoons to vulnerable women at a multi-agency support group.

    Women participating will be asked for feedback after the sessions. Self worth and social inclusion will be measured on a star chart.

    Aim 2

    To develop a self-sustaining enterprise


    » Sale of items on-line and at craft markets will generate income to support the venture.

    The enterprise will be successful when the profit generated from the sales covers the total project costs. Surplus profit would be returned to support the charities beneficiaries.

  • Impact


    Volunteers and vulnerable women will gain increased skills and opportunities. We will reduce waste through the use of materials currently destined for landfill.


    Risks include lack of material and women to make the items, items will not be of high enough quality or will not generate sufficient profit to make the enterprise viable. We currently have to turn donations down and do not advertise the clothing bank, so we feel that we should not have a shortage of material. We are working with an existing women's support group. We have 3 professional advisers developing easy templates that will sell but we could apply for charity funds if necessary.


    We will develop social media sites, newsletters and hope to show case the goods produced at a stakeholder event.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £5,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £270 Craft Equipment Sewing machines/glue guns etc for craft workshops
      £1,390 Rent Storage unit rental
      £2,340 Sessional Staff Sessional staff to manage workshops, clothing banks and craft market stalls
      £750 Expenses Travel to and subsistence for workshop participants and craft markets
      £250 Marketing Website design,leaflets and online sales costs
  • Background


    The current clothing bank is run from a volunteers house in Aylesbury, but we need to secure funding for a venue that can be accessed by the people we support. The vulnerable women's group is in High Wycombe. We hope that both of these can be replicated and the project expanded to other areas.


    Vulnerable women including homeless, offenders, drug and alcohol users, victims of domestic violence, young and single mother, unemployed, refugees and women from minority groups in Buckinghamshire and the wider Thames valley and volunteers from the local community who will benefit from skills and social contacts. Members of the local community who will be able to purchase unique, handcrafted fashion accessories and home furnishing and the environmental benefits due to less landfill.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We have a long track record of supporting socially excluded women and a history of delivering highly successful arts projects. We have developed a partnership with an existing women's support group and have a source of raw material from our clothing bank. in addition a local business has agreed to donate all their end of line fabrics and off-cuts to the project. We have professional volunteer advisers who are developing the templates for us and skilled IT and photography volunteers.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Lesley Johnston

    Lesley has been a volunteer for 3 years. She has developed the clothing bank single handed as well developing resources for the people we support.