Promoting positive change
We are very excited to announce Fresh Start Charity has been shortlisted in 2 categories in the National StartUp Awards in the East of England Region. News of our nomination has quickly spread via social media which has already helped raise the profile of Fresh Start Charity in and around Ipswich. We are also extremely grateful for all the amazing publicity we have received in the East Anglian, Evening Star and Suffolk Free Press, which will spread the news throughout Suffolk and beyond.
The Gala Event to announce the winners will be held on 29th June in Peterborough - we'll keep you posted!
SUPPORT FOR REFUGEES
Fresh Start Charity is supporting the Archdeacon of Ipswich, Rhiannon King with setting up a Sanctuary Support Day Centre in Ipswich. The Centre is being created to help support refugees who are currently residing in the Ipswich area. Since 2019, Rhiannon has served as Archdeacon of Ipswich in the Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich and as the Director of Inspiring Ipswich, a church-planting project aiming to develop 25 new worshipping communities in the Ipswich Deanery.
To date Fresh Start Charity has loaned the Sanctuary Support Day Centre 25 chairs as well as donate supplies of tea, coffee and toiletries and aims to give Archdeacon Rhiannon further support in her mission over the coming months.
Donations for the Sanctuary Centre
Archdeacon Rhiannon King
At Fresh Start & Coffee we are delighted to announce that we have been granted a pavement license, so you can choose to dine outside!
We have also been awarded a 5 star food hygiene rating.
Welcome to our new shop at 29-31 Carr Street, Ipswich
Fresh Start & Coffee was officially opened by the Mayor of Ipswich, John Cook on Saturday 14th May. Charity Founder, Angela Gregg, assisted by her team, have been working tirelessly over the past month in order to be ready for the launch.
Fresh Start & Coffee offers a wide range of new and pre-owned clothing, home wares, bric-a-brac, as well as a café that can cater for up to 60 people. The shop and café is open 7 days a week: Mon-Sat 9am - 5pm & Sun 9am - 4pm and serves Paddy & Scott’s Barista coffee, together with an array of hot and cold refreshments, delicious cakes and tasty lunches. The café interior has a relaxed vibe and offers a great social environment for all ages.
The grand opening on 14th May was officiated by Mayor of Ipswich, John Cook, Charity Founder Angela Gregg, together with members of her team at Fresh Start & Coffee
On the day of the launch, Fresh Start & Coffee invited local businesses to visit the new shop to have a discussion with the team regarding areas of sponsorship or to consider Fresh Start Charity as a trusted source for recruiting qualified and experienced candidates in future.
The Charity’s work has changed over the past two years and diversified from providing support and help for local people, to signposting a variety of help and advice services, as well as working with young adults aged 16-24 that are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET), hence the need to change the Charity’s name to better reflect all that it now offers.
Youth Opportunities: Two new apprenticeship schemes have been created via Suffolk County Council and Apprenticeships Suffolk (Level 2 Customer Service Practitioner and Level 2 Hospitality Team Member). Working in conjunction with these apprenticeship schemes, Fresh Start & Coffee is excited to be launching a new 6 month Youth Opportunities Programmes to offer NEET young adults the chance to gain valuable work experience and transferable skills in hospitality, retail and customer service.
Fresh Start Charity is so grateful to everyone who has sponsored or donated equipment for the Ipswich shop and Angela would like to give special thanks to the following:
• Paddy & Scott’s for sponsoring expert Barista Training at their Academy, donating the barista coffee machine and providing the supplies.
• Hudson Group Ltd for donating the exterior signage, supplying the shop interior signage and branded staff workwear.
• Headlam Group Ltd for donating the flooring.
All profits from the Ipswich & Kersey shops go towards supporting the local community.
If anyone is interested in applying for the work experience schemes or volunteering in either of the Shops, located at Kersey Mill & Ipswich, please get in touch or download the New Volunteer application form, which can be found on our homepage.
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!
Delivering your donations to Ukraine
We have been overwhelmed by the level of support we have received since news broke on 24th February of the horrific situation in Ukraine.
On Friday 11th March, all the donations from the public were taken from our Fresh Start Charity Shop at Kersey Mill to Sorrelle's in Sudbury, who will be making the journey to Ukraine. Their vehicles are endorsed with the British Red Cross Humanitarian Support badges and we have been assured that your donations will be taken direct to those who have been impacted by the ongoing crisis.
How the Red Cross is helping Ukrainian people right now
So far, Red Cross teams in Ukraine have distributed over 30,000 food and hygiene parcels and provided food, warm clothes, and other aid to around 8,000 people sheltering in metro stations.
First aid training has also been delivered to over 2,000 people taking cover in metro stations and bomb shelters, so they have the skills to treat their loved ones if needed.
The British Red Cross is part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which unites 15 member charities who are experts in humanitarian aid and specialists in different areas of disaster response.
Santa visits Hadleigh
Fresh Start Charity organised this year’s visit from Santa on Wednesday 22nd December. The Christmas sleigh left the Market Place in Hadleigh Town Centre at 4.30pm and made 6 stops around the town.
Over 500 children attended the Santa trail where Santa had a lovely chat with most of them! Unfortunately the sleigh broke down after the Persimmon Homes stop, but all is now well and Santa went onto deliver his presents all over the world!
Shopping experience at Waterfield House Care Home
On 6th December, Angela Gregg was invited by Care Home Manager, Vicky Glazier, to Waterfield House in Hadleigh.
Angela took along a selection of clothes, jewellery and books to enable the residents to enjoy a shopping experience.
Due to the event's success, it has
been agreed for this to be a long term arrangement and Angela will be visiting the Care Home and changing the stock regularly.
Christmas Craft Fair 27th November
Fresh Start Charity held its first Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday 27th November at The Venue, Kersey Mill. With over 50 stall holders on site, there were plenty of unique gift ideas including home made candles, eco friendly items, jewellery, toys and hand crafted Christmas decorations for shoppers to choose from. There was also live entertainment from Mr Smooth singing all the Christmas favourites to get everyone into the festive spirit. At the end of the afternoon a prize raffle was drawn and £265 was raised for Fresh Start Charity. Charity Founder Angela Gregg thanked everyone who attended for their support as well as her team of Volunteers who helped make the event a great success.
Runway Success at Fashion Show
Thanks to everyone who attended and participated in our Fashion Show held at The Venue Kersey Mill on Friday 15th October. The event was jointly organised by Angela Gregg of The Fresh Start Charity Shop and Zoe Robinson, owner of Zor Boutique, both located at Kersey Mill.
From daywear to evening wear, the volunteer models put on a stylish and glamourous performance which was enjoyed and applauded by all. To compliment the show, there were a number of stalls including The Little Ginger Bee Company, selling a range of skincare & cosmetics, jewellery, handbags and accessories, as well as a range of clothing from the organisers, Zor Boutique and Fresh Start Charity Shop.
At the end of the evening a prize raffle was held and £300 was donated to Fresh Start Charity.
Another show is planned for April to showcase summer wear - date to be confirmed!
High Sheriff of Suffolk visits new HQ at Kersey Mill
When Angela Gregg, Founder of Fresh Start Charity, was contacted by Andrea Pittock, the Head of Grants from Suffolk Community Foundation, she was delighted to accept a visit from the High Sheriff of Suffolk at the Charity’s new headquarters at Kersey Mill on 22nd June.
L-R Andrea Pittock, Head of Grants from Suffolk Community Foundation, Alison Allum, Project Officer from Suffolk County Council, Denise Leathers (Trustee) with Angela Gregg (Charity Founder) receiving the Suffolk Award, in recognition of the Charity’s outstanding work during the pandemic, from The High Sheriff of Suffolk, Edward Creasey.
Currently there is a High Sheriff serving in every county in England and Wales and the Office is the oldest Royal appointment with its history and traditions dating back to before the Norman Conquest! Today High Sheriffs have a very different role to that of their ancestors. In recent years many have been particularly active in promoting crime reduction initiatives as well as assisting Community Foundations and local charities by raising the profile of their valuable work. High Sheriffs work on a voluntary basis and receive no remuneration for their year in office.
During their visit, the three dignitaries were very keen to learn more about the work of Fresh Start Charity, following the devastating effect the Covid-19 pandemic had on the local community. The Charity has been working hard ever since, with its members and volunteers, to assist individuals in and around the Hadleigh area who need help during these difficult and challenging times.
There has been an outstanding response following the Charity’s relocation from Hadleigh town centre to Kersey Mill, just over 1.5 miles away. Since opening its doors on 20th April 2021, the Fresh Start Charity Shop has been incredibly busy. With free parking close by, it has proven to be very popular for those either making donations as well as those looking out for a bargain! The shop is well stocked with a wide range of previously owned clothing, accessories, children’s toys, home wares and bric-a-brac.
Fresh Start Charity Shop opens its doors!
On Tuesday 20th April, the Fresh Start Charity Shop opened its doors at Unit 2, Kersey Mill.
The shop, which has been set up to raise funds to support the local community, is well stocked with a wide range of previously owned clothing, accessories, children's toys, homewares and bric-a-brac.
Fresh Start Charity Founder, Angela Gregg, outside the new shop at Unit 2 Kersey Mill with volunteer Ken Brown
picture by Mark Westley
To help launch Fresh Start Charity Shop, Founder, Angela Gregg invited reporter, Thomas Malina, from the Suffolk Free Press down to Kersey Mill for a discussion about the new venture. Angela went on to say...
“The opportunity came up to take on one of the units at Kersey Mill and I decided it would be a good location for a charity shop. Kersey Mill is a beautiful setting and there’s free parking, which is a great bonus. I think charity shops are the up-and-coming high street business, because a lot of people haven’t got as much money as they did before Covid, so it’s somewhere people can go to get a really good bargain.”
The official opening of Fresh Start Charity Shop to raise funds for the local community
picture by Mark Westley