Mounds of leftover material from Aberdeen’s closed John Lewis department store have been gifted to delighted city charity workers.
Rosie’s Social Enterprises, based on Holburn Street, will use some of the top class fabric for the workshops it runs with vulnerable people.
The rest will be sold off in an upcoming de-stashing sale at the west end premises, to raise money for the sessions and cater to the growing craft revolution.
That means enthusiasts will be able to get their hands on some quality material at bargain rates.
Alex Penter, workshop co-ordinator for Rosie’s, is now getting the bundles ready for the event.
Kind offer as retail giant cleared stock
Alex was surprised to get the call about the material, and it took two trips to Norco House with a van to collect it all.
She said: “We already had the big de-stash planned to get rid of some of our excess material, and raise money for the charity, when John Lewis said they had all this fabric for us.
“It really was perfect timing.
“We went down to collect two cages of stuff, and it took two van trips to bring it back here.
“Some of it will be upcycled to make products to sell, and the rest will be on sale as it is.”
Alex added: “These are just beautiful fabrics, even down to the lining on the curtains, we can use it for lots of projects.
“We are very aware that textile landfill is a huge problem, so we take every opportunity to reuse what we can.”
How the money will help
Rosie’s runs regular workshops with people who have mental health issues, and those with brain injuries.
The therapeutic crafting sessions are part of the recovery process, and can prepare many for a return to work or volunteering posts.
Alex said: “We have two workshops a day, and they are part of an 18-month programme for people before they go out into the world again.
“The money raised will help improve those services.”
The charity expects “a lot of interest” in the upcoming sale, and is hopeful that the attention brought about by the John Lewis donation will help raise wider awareness of what they do.
“We take donations all the time, and we would love it if more people handed stuff in to us”, Alex said.
“We would not be here if not for people being so kind and doing that.”
John Lewis staff, many with decades of experience, left the shop for the final time last Friday as a special gathering was held to mark the end of their contracts.
The firm announced plans to close the store this spring, and pulled the plug at the end of June despite the protests of scores of loyal customers.