This is the place.. > Case Studies – R:evolve Recycle
R:evolve Recycle is an innovative clothes recycling project run by LEAP, a charity that aims to enhance the lives of older people in South Lanarkshire. Run from three shops, it offers creative and exciting volunteering opportunities to older people, including passing on their textile skills to allow families to repair their clothes rather than throw them away. Since it began, the project has saved an estimated 19 tonnes of textiles and 500 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
£10,000 of funding from Clyde Gateway has helped the project move their Rutherglen shop on Rutherglen High Street, a much busier location than their previous premises on Farmeloan Road.
Retiree Isobel Timoney, 57, from Rutherglen has volunteered with R:evolve Recycle for just over a year, and it has certainly kept her busy.
“When I took early retirement from my job as an administrative assistant, at first I was excited about the chance for a more relaxed lifestyle and relished the chance to do absolutely nothing, or maybe the odd keep fit class. However, before long I found that I much prefer being busy to sitting around the house, so that excitement soon wore off!
“I felt like I was becoming a bit isolated, so I joined a few of LEAP’s adult education and recreation classes, doing things like Tai Chi, yoga and walking. It was at my Tai Chi class that I found out that R:evolve Recycle were looking for someone to update the records for their shops. I like working with computers and spreadsheets,
so I decided to dust off my brain and get involved as a volunteer.
“I really liked the idea behind R:evolve Recycle – we run swap shops in Rutherglen, Cambuslang and Hamilton where people can trade in their old unwanted clothes for something else, at no charge. We also run weekly ‘make do and mend’ and textile crafting workshops to help people learn how to mend their clothes rather than throw them away – a skill that a lot of younger people don’t have. We’ve had about 200 people coming through the workshops, and we also go out to local primary schools to teach the older children how to sew.
“We’ve got a team of over 30 regular volunteers who do a whole range of jobs from serving customers and sorting the clothes in the shops, to promotions and marketing of the shops and running the workshops. It’s mostly older people, but our youngest volunteer is an 18 year old!”
“My role is to use my admin skills to support the project by recording all the data that funders need. I record all the membership information and collection data to ensure project information is accurate and up to date, and that statistics can be reported regularly. I get a feeling of real satisfaction when all the data has been updated, and it’s great to be working with a team again. I’ve met a lot of lovely people who are really kind and make time to help me if I’m stuck, and the team development days are a terrific way to learn new things.
“I’ve also had some really good feedback from the team leaders on my work, which is great to hear – a real confidence boost!””