Category: Environment, Philanthropy, Diversity, Humanity
Number Three Eco Salon
Oakham Le15 6bh United Kingdom
Hi, my name is Jenni, I’ve been talking about setting up a zero waste shop in my county for many years. When we were in lockdown last July my land lord rang me and said the shop next door to me (a fish and chip shop) was up for rent. I immediately rang him back and asked if I could have the lease. It took a lot of organising and agreeing on who would pay for what (as the building was very very run down, it hadn’t had any work done to it for over 20 years) but we finally started building work in April.
We have completely transformed a 3 storey building and made it into a zero waste shop, cafe and local arts and craft shop that adjoins to my little eco salon. We are a not for profit company and work with local people to help run the shop offering a friendly and inclusive working space. We also work with local people with S.E.N.D (special educational needs and disabilities) offering training, work experience and life skills such as shop working (reading, maths, computer skills,) working with the general public (personal skills), cooking (making soups, sandwiches, coffees, cakes teas etc.) I have 2 full time staff to run the shop and cafe with help from volunteers and one part time who solely works with the S.E.N.D students and volunteers. We also have a deli which stock locally made products to help support small companies without a high street premises. We are going to be working in the community going out with coffee and cake to elderly, lonely and isolated people to spend an hour to have a chat and a cuppa with them to keep them company. This is one thing after being a hairdresser for many years I have come to realise. Many people may only see their carers, hairdresser or podiatrist if they have not had children, don’t have family or can’t get out of the house.
The whole aim of Rutland Refill is to create an affordable zero waste shop so everyone can shop as plastic free as possible and offer an affordable cafe providing fresh locally produced food and an inclusive environment. We have also set up The Eco Emporium which showcases local people’s arts and crafts and gives them a platform to sell their wears to the local community. All of the furniture and appliances are also up-cycled and second hand where possible. We are also hoping to convert the flat that joins onto Rutland Refill into a community kitchen and space for some wellness and craft courses such as meditation, sewing and repairing clothes, fixing household electrical items, book clubs, knitting, crochet lessons and much more. In the kitchen we will be getting nearly out of date food from the supermarkets and cooking it into meals and offering that for free (or for a small donation if people want) to cut down on food waste and help local people who maybe don’t have that much (especially after the pandemic when jobs have been lost and furlough is coming to an end).
We will also be working closely with local businesses seeing if we can get our S.E.N.D students jobs after their time with us and training them up in the relevant fields required for those positions.
I have had a lot of help doing this project-
My builder Iky Dodge and Adam have given so many unpaid hours to this project and pulled in many favours from their trade friends to cut down on expenses.
My interior designer Serina Vanderswood has worked closely with me to make the project beautiful on a shoestring budget. My gorgeous dad Dorian Penfold who is incredibly handy and supportive.
My Community Interest Team
Linda Burton – one of my clients/friend for over 15 years who helped me with my buisness plan and now volunteers in the shop.
Martyn Rhowbotham- one of my clients husbands who is a pillar of the community and has worked with the SEND community all his working life.
Clare Askham – a client/friend who is very into clean living and has given me masses of advice.
Matt – another client/friend who has supported the CIC and is going to help make accredited courses for the SEND students as well as helping us with demolition and putting up all our zero waste dispensers.
Michelle Inwood – A client who has taken the position of General Manager, she has a background in care work and running care companies.
Lorraine Hudson – a client/friend who is working as the shop manager, Lorraine has always been super eco friendly and into clean eating and living.
Beverley Horne – a client / friend, Bev has taken the part time role of SEND mentor, she works with and trains our work experience and SEND students in all aspects of our shop and cafe and teaches them life skills to support them in the future.
And last but not least my partner Tom and my four children Toby (9), Zen (4), Phoenix (3) and Bliss (2), for putting up with me hardly being around for ages while putting this project together!
I can honestly say that my hairdressing career has led me to this project as working with so many people from ever walk of society has mede me realise how much we need our community to support the more vulnerable. If it wasn’t for my fantastic clients (as you can see from the list above) I wouldn’t have been able to pull off this huge projector had the inspiration for it. We are still in our early days but already have members of the community volunteering with us and also have a some SEND volunteers and students we are helping too.
The video I have attached is a quick walk around of our shop, cafe and emporium.
There are also a couple of other photos of our shop and cafe and a photo of Amber who is one of our SEND volunteers making sandwiches in our kitchen.
I really hope you like our project, it has been a dream of mine for many years and I can’t believe we have actually made it come to fruition!!!
Thank you so much for reading,
This has all happened since the first lock down in the uk. We officially opened our doors of Rutland Refill on 24th July 2021
18.104.22.168 | 31/08/2021