Ipswich Programme - Great Teamwork, Great Atmosphere, Great Leadership
Promoting positive change
Since we opened our new shop "Fresh Start & Coffee" in Carr Street, Ipswich in May 2022, we have taken on over 20 young adults to participate in our programme. This provides work experience and transferable skills into hospitality and the retail work place environment. The Ipswich programme supports 16-24 year olds, demonstrating there is a need for this project to help these juniors gain confidence and improve their self esteem.
Our Fresh Start Champions
At Fresh Start & Coffee we have created a unique offering and we are changing people’s perception of what a charity shop is. Please come and see us and check out for yourselves how good these juniors really are. Their customer service and positive attitude will also change your perception of the younger generation too. We are so proud of our juniors who are working at our Charity Shops in Kersey and at Ipswich. Tanisha Scourfield has been with us over a year and has gone from being a shy girl to one that runs the Kersey Mill shop on her own! The customers adore her as much as she loves to work for us.
We are posting about each of the juniors and in their own words telling you how they feel about working for us. We’ve monitored their progress carefully and it’s good we can show you the results of the programme so that the general public get to know what we aim to achieve.
A message from Tanisha Scourfield
“ I’ve found that whilst working at the charity my confidence has noticeably improved, especially after covid. I'm able to interact with many people of varying ages and love running the shop whilst there! Everyone who works there are always so welcoming and friendly. The charity has done so much for me, I don’t know what I would have been like without experiencing working in the shop! "
A message from Jessica Woodgate
“I love working at Fresh Start, it has really changed my life for the better and has really helped with my anxiety. Before working at Fresh Start my anxiety was at its worst but now it has lowered my anxiety a tone and everyone that works there has really made me feel welcome, and as we all say we are like one big family.”
A message from Kye Sinderby
“Since working at Fresh Start I’ve become more confident by the day. A year ago I would’ve barely left my house and was almost sure that, that was how my life was going to be for the for the foreseeable future for me. I’ve gained people skills and now have the confidence to spark conversation with just about anyone - the customers that come in on a regular are absolute diamonds and I value each and every one of them. I’m thankful for these new beginnings and can’t wait to expand my skills further.”
A message from Harley Amass
“Working for fresh start has been one of the highlights of my life, tbh it’s changed me as a person. I went from staying in the house for a year to going out and having more confidence in myself and made me feel like I’m worth something again! Gone from a quiet young lady who cried every day to a happy non stop laughing and crazy woman 😂 who fits in with the rest of them! No I’m kidding they have all helped me get though stuff I couldn’t get though alone! My Journey with Fresh Start gets better every day by learning new things!”
A message from Demi-Jaye Sowman
"I was diagnosed with dyspraxia and epilepsy when I was in primary school, which had a huge impact on my school years. I struggled with all academic work and that also had affected my confidence. I went to college for a year after school but found that a real struggle too. Luckily Angela Gregg offered me a job with Fresh Start and I have been working there for a year and half now and I love it. Each day brings something different, and I enjoy feeling part of a team. My confidence has grown so much, and I don't feel like I can't do things anymore, as I am encouraged to do new things each day. The support from the team here is exactly what I needed."
A message from Savannah Matthews
"I really enjoy being at Fresh start because it’s made me a lot more confident. I used to be really anxious about speaking to people and going out but now I feel like I’ve come out of my shell a lot more and everyone is really nice and makes you always feel welcome."
A message from Els Mark
"Since working at fresh start and coffee I have gained a whole new level of confidence when it comes to my work and interactions with people. I enjoy coming to work to keep myself going and push myself to succeed. I have gained a whole work family who have supported me from the very start which I am so grateful for and couldn’t thank them all enough💚".
A message from Alex Clarke
"Hey there. My name is Alex. I'm doing a traineeship to see what working in the workplace is like. I've been enjoying doing the deliveries as I prefer being out on the roads. I work with a great team who are all very supportive of each other too. It's also been a real eye opening to see how people treat people who work in retail."
A message from Ellie
“I have been working in various jobs
since I was 13 helping at a children’s
cookery school and this has given me skills that I’m using at Fresh Start Charity. I’ve struggled with anxiety and was quite shy but being given the responsibility to oversee operations at FSC at just 18, I’m now much more confident and this has brought me out of my comfort zone. It’s a great team who understand my role and despite being a similar age as my colleagues, they respect me for the role I’m learning.”
A message from Tegan
"Since working at fresh start I’ve had opportunities to work with some great people, everyone is welcoming and creates an enjoyable atmosphere in the shop. It has allowed me to interact with customers and try new things."
A message from Joe
"My name is Joe, I am 17 years old. I started at Fresh Start Charity in October 2022, but had to leave to go to America. I missed working at Fresh Start so much that I came back and I am currently volunteering! The charity and the people have really helped with my confidence and I love working here."
A message from Joseph Miller
"Hey my name is Joseph and I've been working at Fresh Start for about a few weeks now. It's been an amazing start for me because I've been helping Roy getting some furniture off the van and I've been helping him and Aaron deliver furniture to peoples' houses, I was really excited to deliver. It's helped me a lot because I've had a lot of confidence to be a bit more sociable, the people who I work with are Amy, Roy, Aaron, Joe, Thomas, Ellie and Jessica - they all very lovely to work with and they are like my family x. "
A message from Tom
I joined Fresh Start in October 2022 recommended by Qube whilst on their traineeship. Since joining the team I have grown in confidence, so much so I am able to talk to customers and other members of staff and it’s a lot of fun. Before joining Fresh Start I felt my life didn’t have much purpose and I was depressed. Now I feel I have something to focus on, working in different areas of the charity & I want to be a Chef so I’m learning how to cook & serve customers and I’m really enjoying myself. If it wasn’t for Fresh Start I’d still be at home doing nothing.
A message from Aaron
“Working here at Fresh Start Charity has made me realize how things can change in a small amount of time , you must expect the unexpected, which is something I love, as something new will come everyday”
A message from Samuel
"I love the Fresh Start charity because it’s a very welcoming group of people who are always happy to help and I couldn’t have a bad word to say about any of them. The past few months of me being there has really helped me come out of my shell and to be more productive with my time"
A message from Mujib Rahman
“I enjoy working at Fresh Start Charity, I like working and keeping busy, it has helped me a lot with my confidence and I love speaking to customers.”
Nomination for ITV People's Choice Awards - Q&A with Angela Gregg
Fresh Start Charity is excited to be shortlisted for this prestigious Television Award and we are currently in the process of completing our application to be included in the next stage of selection.
Q1. What’s your project idea & aim. What led you to this project and what difference you hope to make?
A. Fresh Start & Coffee Youth Opportunities in Ipswich was created because since July 2019, we were able to build a trust with our families and ask why they needed our support and try to get them further support by signposting them to different organisations. During the pandemic we supported many more families, elderly and young people. Young people asked to volunteer in our Charity shop and found the work really interesting and this prompted the idea to start a programme in Ipswich specifically for 16-24 NEET individuals.
So we identified a gap in the market for the younger generation, who for many reasons either left college, didn’t get the grades they wanted, mental health problems, couldn’t get a job, and other reasons, they appeared to feel lost in society. The age group 16-24 year olds, are classed as NEET (not in Education, Employment or Training) and the government statistics of this group of people registered and claiming Universal Credit is increasing rapidly.
In May 2022 we opened Fresh Start & Coffee Youth Opportunities. The idea is to support these 16-24 year olds and give them a chance to gain work experience, build their confidence, self esteem & skills in preparation for getting jobs. We have already got two 22 year olds in full time work within 4 months. Our aim is to help more of this age group to join our programme and help them get jobs in their chosen industry.
Q2: What specific activities will you deliver with your grant?
A: Our programme offers a wide range of skills that are transferable in many working industries.
Here are the activities our youths will be trained in.
• Retail and Customer Service
Within the Charity Shop they will learn how to greet and serve customers. They will be trained on the Epos system at the till, similar to most of the Epos systems used in most businesses. They will be encouraged to build their confidence handling customer queries, complaints, sales and returns. They will be shown how to upsell, ensure the shop is clean, tidy and full of items to sell. They are shown how to price and tag the donations and how to steam products so they are presented well.
• Coffee Shop & Kitchen
We have been supported by Paddy & Scott’s Coffee and they deliver Barista Training in their Ipswich Academy. All youths are trained how to use the coffee machine, how to clean it, calibrate the beans and create the designs when serving coffee. They will take orders for the kitchen and learn how to serve in the cafe area, clear away and engage with customers. They will have the option to take e-learning courses in food hygiene, food safety and first aid which are all accredited and transferable.
• Basement / Warehouse
As a Charity we receive a vast quantity of donations and this is taken downstairs to the basement. We show them how to organise and sort these donations into categories such as books, clothes, bric-à-brac, furniture, dvds and more. They will learn how to disregard items that we cannot sell and “rag” these ready for collection from a business who can utilise them. We can provide e-learning course on manual handling and first aid to work in any warehouse.
• Deliveries & Collections
We have our own van and offer to deliver items that are bought within the shop and we collect furniture if anyone would like to donate it. Our youths get to accompany our driver and they help offloading and collecting.
All of the above training can be transferred and used when applying for work. Industries such as Hospitality, Retail, Warehouse, Customer Service, Catering, Delivery roles and more. We help them create a CV and covering letter and give a reference once they are ready to find full time work. Any courses they complete are all accredited and come with a certificate.
Q3. How do you know this project matters to the community? How will they be involved in the development and delivery of the project?
A: There are many agencies, charities, departments who all work with NEET youths. Since we opened our doors in May word quickly spread and we were contacted by many to see if we could work in partnership. Although these other organisations support these people they do not have any practical ways of supporting their young people, only by offering meetings and trying to help them get motivated or have the desire to get out to work. Some of the organisations, Lapwing Education, Early support teams at Suffolk County Council have used our facilities to bring youths for voluntary work helping in our warehouse. Lapwing are designing their own Retail Programme to use our facilities, and they host workshops in our Coffee Shop. Other organisations we work with are the Job Centre, Citizen’s Advice, Insight, Youth Pledge Project and more.
We work with our young people and carry out 1-1 assessments with them and ask what areas of the Charity do they enjoy most, we encourage them to give their opinions and ideas on how we run the programme and we give them feedback on their progress.
Takeover Tuesday with BBC Radio Suffolk
We were recently live on air with Jon Wright of BBC Radio Suffolk! The programme "Take over Tuesday" was broadcast at 6pm on Tuesday 11th October, where for 2 hours our staff and customers were interviewed and chose songs that meant something to them. Even though no one could see us, it was still a challenge to engage with off the cuff conversations, but it was great fun and a fantastic opportunity to get our message out there to the listeners!