Category Archives: Capability Scotland Shops

Volunteers’ Week 2016

Volunteers’ Week 2016

It’s Volunteers’ Week again – the week when we officially celebrate the hard work and achievements of those who give up their time to help us with our work supporting disabled adults and children across Scotland

Volunteersshop poster are a vital part of Capability Scotland’s shops’ team. Without them we simply couldn’t run our 14 shops across the country. People like Paddy, Diana, Mary and Fiona – who give their time to our Morningside shop and were awarded this year’s Shops Volunteer Team of the year accolade – all contribute in so many different ways to making our shops a success. It was lovely that we were able to highlight their efforts with a poster display thanking them individually for the unique skills they bring to the shop.

Charity retail is unique in the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes sorting and preparing the public’s lovely donations ready to be sold and it’s nice to be able to acknowledge these often unsung heroes like Diana and Fiona who work tirelessly mainly in the back making sure the shop can run smoothly.

This ybettyear our Kirkcaldy shop moved premises from The Postings Shopping Centre to a new location at the North end of the High Street. Our April 2016 volunteer of the month Betty, played a key role in the shop move. Betty, who has a background in retail, and has volunteered with us for two years since taking early retirement was able to put her skills and experience to good use in helping the move go as smoothly as possible.

And our team of volunteers are not just happy volunteering in store. Many of them have undertaken fundraising challenges and events on our behalf. One of our volunteers, Stephen even enlisted the help of his four legged friend, Susie, to raise money for us by taking on a massive climbing challenge which saw him conquer seven Munroes over a 40k trek.

Our volunteers do so much and it wouldn’t be possible to list each one of them here. Volunteers’ Week gives us a focus to shout about all they do for us but of course we are grateful for their efforts all year round and we are always looking to welcome new volunteers to our team. We have opportunities in our shops across the country and we would love to hear from you if you are interested in helping us with our work.

Get in touch with your local shop to find out more about volunteering opportunities in your area.

In the meantime have a great Volunteers’ Week

 

 

#BargainBuggies

There’s a new arrival in Perth…

Having a baby can be an expensive time for families with the list of seemingly must-have items growing longer by the minute.  One of the biggest investments new parents will make is often the pram.  Parenting website MumsNet estimates the average pram can cost between £250 – £500 with many people splashing out £1000 upwards for premium models.  

Fortunately, Capability Scotland has delivered an alternative for parents who are on a budget. Capability Scotland in Perth has dedicated a section of its shop to preloved prams, buggies and other baby essentials.  So whether you’re preparing to welcome a new member of the family or are looking for an extra pram to keep in the car or at Gran’s house it is definitely worth popping in.  

As you can imagine our #BargainBuggies range has proved to be very popular so we are always very grateful for donations of stock and these can be handed in to anyone of our shops across Scotland Find your nearest one here..

Meanwhile to celebrate our new arrival we came over all poetic, we hope you enjoy…

BargainBuggies_Poem_Without Logo

Corporate Support #Passitonweek

Capability Scotland has 15 shops all over Scotland.  Some in city centre locations like Nicolson Street in Edinburgh and some in pretty market towns like Haddington.

Every shop is unique but what they all have in common is their reliance on your donations to help raise vital funds to support disabled adults and children across Scotland.

passitonweb

With that in mind we want to make it as easy as possible for you give us your preloved clothes, books, toys and bric-a-brac.  We know that if you’re walking or using public transport or if there’s no handy parking spots available close by it can be tricky to get a bag of clothes or crockery to your local Capability Scotland shop.

Which is why, during this year’s ‘Pass It On Week’ – Scotland’s National Week for encouraging people to keep things in use for as long as possible –  we’re coming to you, or more accurately, your workplace.

We’re asking organisations and businesses to consider arranging an on-site donation drive so that you can take your donations into work and we will pick them up from there.

Bags of Support from Standard Life

bags of support week 5

We first realised the potential in this method when we launched our Bags of Support campaign last year.  We put out a call to action to try and collect 10,000 bags of donations throughout January.  Our offices and services are hard wired to support us but we noticed what a great response we got when we asked for donations to be brought into work during a certain week while we did the rest.  Taking the hassle out of donating seemed to be the answer.

Buoyed by our theory we asked Standard Life, our Charity Partner, to get involved across their Edinburgh offices.  Standard Life was more than happy to take part but the test was on as their employees don’t drive to work, so we weren’t sure how it would work out.  We needn’t have worried though, in just a week we had over 100 bags waiting for us.  We had everything from small carrier bags, bags for life, bin bags and boxes crammed with donations all of which totalled well over £2,500 – a fantastic sum which will really help us support disabled adults and children in Scotland.

What Next?

So, you want to make a difference to disabled people in Scotland by organising a workplace donation? What do you need to do now?

It couldn’t be easier just follow these three easy steps;

  1. Ask your boss’ permission, how could they say no? it’s for  such a good cause and ticks the CSR box.
  2. Find a spare corner/cupboard/area to stash donations. Under your desk will do it’s only for a week.
  3. Let us know what you’re doing. We can provide you with posters, postcards, collection boxes to help you spread the word and make bringing in a bag as easy as possible, hec we’ll even provide the bags which come with a handy Gift Aid sign-up sheet to make your donations worth an extra 25%.

We’d love to hear from you if you’d like to organise a workplace collection for us.  If you have more than one office you can turn it into a competition to see who can bring in the most bags.  Go on, give us a call, your wardrobe will thank you for it.

For more information or to arrange a workplace collection place call Sophie Wilbraham on 0131 347 1075 or email sophie.wilbraham@capability-scotland.org.uk

Sophie’s style file: #Christmas Sparkle

I return to my computer for another style file and find myself drawn to discussing the weather again, well we’re British after all. With Autumn officially over, we’re again fixated in analysing how quickly the nights turn black, despairing at the time you have to put the heating on, and the old favourite, ‘you go to work in the dark and come home in the dark!’ And so, as the weather gets more miserable I seek solace by turning my attention to the fun that lies an advent calendar away.

Tis the season to party!

With Christmas just around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning for party season. December always seems a time for me when I’ve got a lot on but not necessarily with the same crowd which means I can make do with one or two outfits for all my festive nights out. I do like to pick up something new though, and given how expensive Christmas can be, charity shopping can be a no brainer.

If you could see through to the back of a Capability Scotland charity shop you’d see we have pens with bags all piled up of sorted stock with ‘winter’ ‘summer’ and even ‘Christmas’ on them. We try and save things to make them season appropriate and to look more appealing. That’s not to say a rogue volunteer won’t try (and succeed) in sneaking a bikini out in November, but generally it’s not a coincidence that come December 1st all the sparkly dresses come out just like the other high street shops.

Dress up at dress down prices

To kick off this month of festive finery Capability Scotland is launching its #Christmas Sparkle event in its Morningside and Stockbridge shops starting this Friday (27th November).

In Stockbridge you’ll find dozens of little black dresses as Patsy our shop manager came over all Audrey Hepburn. In our Morningside shop Lisa has been saving the most amazing party frocks and gowns in all the colours of the rainbow and is encouraging shoppers to ‘dress up at dress down prices.’

Examples of the fabulous bargains to be found during the promotion includeI the most amazing BCBG Max Azria black dress (above) From the delicate lace capped shoulders to the flamenco style skirt, this dress is slightly unusual but has fashion staying power well beyond turkey and tinsel time. The detachable belt means you can add a pop of colour or toughen up the look with something more substantial. New, this dress would have cost over £300 but you can pick it up at a fraction of the price at our Stockbridge shop this weekend.

So what are you waiting for get yourself along to our Morningside and Stockbridge shops and get your #ChristmasSparkle on

Happy Shopping and Happy Christmas!

 

 

 

Are you ready for Battleshops?

This autumn, Capability Scotland is encouraging companies to sign up to the Battleshops challenge. Battleshops is a charity shop takeover challenge which gives you and your colleagues a chance to show off your creativity and entrepreneurial skills – each team will be allocated to one of our shops and will compete to see who can raise the most cash on the day. If the company you work for allows for a day out of the office to volunteer then this could be great way to use that day. You can find out more about Battleshops on our website:

Back in May, two teams from Standard Life took part in the first Battleshops challenge in Edinburgh. One of the teams took over our shop on Nicolson Street, while the other went out to our branch in Corstorphine. Their challenge was a great success, with fundraising events held in the lead up to the big day, loads of stock taken in to the shops and both teams doubling the sales made on the same day last year. I went out to meet each team to find out how they made their Battleshops challenge such a success. Here are some of their tips:

 Get organised ahead of your big day

There should be an element of fundraising and stock generation to any Battleshops challenge. We ask each team taking part to aim to raise £500 for Capability Scotland, through fundraising before and in the shop on the day. Our teams from Standard Life raised £400 ahead of their challenge by holding a bake sale and quiz at the office, giving them a great head start. This is also an excellent way to raise awareness and let your colleagues know what you are doing to support a great cause.

“I’m new to Standard Life so it seemed like a good opportunity to get involved with my colleagues and help a good cause.” Sally

Incorporate your interests

If you have creative hobbies, why not use these as part of your Battleshops challenge? Debby Kelly, who was part of the team who took over our Corstorphine shop, is a keen jewellery maker, so she entertained customers by holding an instore jewellery demonstration. The beautiful bracelets she made were available for sale and helped raise more money for Capability Scotland.

“It’s enjoyable to design your own window display, and to have Debs making jewellery. You get to meet new people, and you are helping a great cause.”Yvonne Murray, Standard Life

The better the donations, the more money you raise!

The team who took over our Costorphine branch managed to get hold of some brand new Frozen dolls, still in their original packaging, which were nabbed by a passing customer almost as soon as they were placed in the window! The better quality of the items collected for your challenge the more likely you are to perform well on the day. We ask you to try and generate 10 bags of donations per team member so encourage friends, family and colleagues to help with collecting donations, and remind them that giving to a charity shop isn’t just about getting rid of old rubbish!

“I’ve got a disability, rheumatoid arthritis, which is an invisible disability. We had a few choices, but I immediately wanted to support Capability Scotland. When you’re affected by disability, it makes you think. We’ve really enjoyed the challenge. The folk at work have been so good. My friends and family donated masses of stuff – it was about 20 bags. And that’s good because then others get involved in the cause too.” Debby

Would you and your colleagues like to take part in a Capability Scotland Battleshops challenge? Please contact Lucy.Christopher@capability-scotland.org.uk

Sophie’s style file: Awkward Autumn

After a ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ summer, (I missed it) there’s no avoiding the fact that now we’re officially in Autumn and are careering at varying speeds towards the colder weather.  I say varying speeds because as I write this I’m looking out on a glorious morning with not a cloud in the sky, but I’m not naïve enough to think this will last all day and my trusty brolly is propped up patiently, but perfectly poised, ready for the inevitable lunch time dash when the good weather decides it’s had enough and normal service is resumed.

Blazing style

It’s under this (literal) cloud of climatic confusion that I write my first ‘style file’ post.  How on earth to make it through Awkward Autumn without getting soggy feet when you are still being cocky in your peep toes, or sweating cobs when you decide layers are the answer to the changing seasons? I can’t help on the shoes, I have at least 5 pairs under my desk to cover all eventualities, but my other tactic, invest in a blazer.  The right stylish, warm, smart, comfy, versatile piece gets me through the seasons with minimal requirement for back up clothing to adorn the office.  I’ve gone for inoffensive navy blue which goes with everything and depending on the weather and occasion I’ll either add a cosy cashmere scarf or a bright silk one, which serves no other purpose than to look pretty and to do its best to slip off the back of chairs every time I dare to take it off.

blazers

I like to think of investment pieces on a cost per use basis.  It helps me justify big purchases.  FYI, into that category I’d also throw; a great pair of jeans, winter boots, a proper winter coat, sunglasses that actually suit me, nude pumps….ok I can basically justify anything, but the point is, I could have paid £100s for my blazer and on a cost per use basis I’d be on pennies.

Royal fashion at realistic prices

Fortunately you don’t have to pay £100s in our shops, someone else has already done that and then kindly donated them to us for you to discover.  Starting this Friday, 2nd October and throughout the month, we’re celebrating Awkward Autumn with a blazer event in our Stockbridge shop in Edinburgh.  We’ve got dozens of blazers from some amazing designers including Ralph Lauren, Aquascutum, Jaeger and many more.

individualblazer

My absolute favourite is this stunning and immaculate Katherine Hooker woollen blazer with leather trim.  This wasn’t a designer I was instantly familiar with but could tell the quality straight away and so did a bit of research.  If you haven’t heard of her, google her immediately, the Duchess of Cambridge is a big fan.

Our Blazing Style event will be on in our Stockbridge shop from Friday 2nd October.

Work your wedding dress

It wasn’t hard to decide what to write about for my first post on all things charity shops, write about what you know don’t they say.  Well, being of ‘that sort of age’ more than a few of my weekends drift by in a whirlwind of confetti, tulle, declarations of undying devotion and of course a healthy dose of the Dashing White Sergeant!  I suspect I’m not alone as we enter the height of wedding season so it seemed topical to share our recent diamante encrusted steps into our new wedding department. Continue reading Work your wedding dress

Hats off to our volunteers

It’s always incredibly difficult to pick our Volunteer Team of the Year during Volunteers’ week. How do you choose between all the incredibly devoted people who give up their time week after week, year after year, to ensure our charity shops stay open and running smoothly, when all we can offer them in return is a heartfelt thank you and an endless supply of chocolate biscuits? Continue reading Hats off to our volunteers

Why I love volunteering at Capability Scotland’s Charity Shops…

Capability Scotland has eighteen charity shops that support our work throughout Scotland. We have over 200 dedicated volunteers in our shops that help us with a range of activities to ensure our shops run smoothly day to day. Meet some of our amazing shop volunteers below and find out why they give up their time for Capability Scotland: Continue reading Why I love volunteering at Capability Scotland’s Charity Shops…