The sustainable social enterprise making a difference to adults with disabilities

Staff Tonia and Jac standing outside Re-create social Enterprises

Based in Ipswich, Re-create Social Enterprises help adults with disabilities and mental health problems - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Welcome to Re-create Social Enterprises, an organisation based in Ipswich that works with adults who have learning disabilities and recycles old items into craft materials.  

The enterprise started 10 years ago and adults with learning disabilities or mental health conditions can attend and turn donated items into craft materials for members of the public to buy. 

As well as making the planet greener, attendees are also able to learn new skills, socialise and gain independence in a safe environment – one of few organisations which offers options for those with disabilities after they’ve left school or college. 

Gillian, who's in her 70s, turning book pages into craft material

Gillian has been attending since Re-create Social Enterprises first opened - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Those that attend cut, measure, count, wrap and package items ready for sale in the shop.  

Tonia Sadler, a support worker in the organisation, explains why it’s important for adults with disabilities to be out doing something productive. 

She said: “It adds to their education but also it’s somewhere purposeful to go.  

Support worker Tonia Sadler standing in Recreate Social Enterprises new shop

Support worker, Tonia Sadler has worked for Re-create Social Enterprises for eight years - Credit: Charlotte Bond

“There are places out there where people can go, but sadly there are not the activities to keep them motivated. A lot of people then fall into that sinkhole of staying at home again and watching TV, whereas we like to keep people motivated.   

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“It also gives the guys a bit of independence by getting here and gives them those life skills,” she added. 

Dale Hill who has attended Re-create for the past few years explained how much the organisation has helped him. 

The work station with some attendees recycling material

Some of the attendees that visit Re-create Social Enterprises - Credit: Charlotte Bond

He said: "It’s a good routine in my life and I’ve got lots of lovely friends here. I enjoy it here because before I wasn’t really doing anything and I was quite bored at home but now I found Re-create and it’s changed my life around."

Dale went on to say that he hopes to find a job in the near future.  

“I would like to get a job somehow and hopefully the skills I’ve learnt here I can bring into the mainstream world," he added.

Kirsty Hoy, another attendee said: “I really like coming here. Being with my new friends and old friends and I enjoy drinking tea. We just have fun here.” 

Re-create Social Enterprises' new shop has just opened and people are invited to donate items to ensure the organisation can keep going. 

For more information see here.   

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