The last year had been a roller-coaster for Community Fusion, their project Made with Hartt was launched in December 2013 making history in Cascades Shopping Centre as the first charity shop and ‘Empty shop scheme’ shop. The shop quickly became recognised as a great place to launch creative work in the city centre plus a cut of all sales came in directly to support the charity and boost volunteering opportunities for primarily young adults aged 14-25.
Made with Hartt distributed an estimated 1 tonne of free books to the community and free story time was offered to children on Saturdays. Over 25 volunteers came through the Made with Hartt project learning new skills, gaining qualifications and attending training days. Many of the volunteers moved on into paid employment after spending time in the shop.
Phase 2 of the project was launched in May 2014 in form of a market held once a month in the Wedgewood Rooms. Table fees from local artist, crafters and designers were all contributions for Community Fusion. The Wedgewood Rooms donate the space free of charge in support. All these efforts were rewarded with winning the title of Green Business of the year from the Venus Awards and the national finals are later this month.
In late November 2014 Community Fusion lost the shop in Cascades to a new tenant and sadly after a 2nd shop fell through Community Fusion have been left without a base to trade from. Recently an opportunity came about to be based on Albert Road on a long term lease but funds are needed. The charity needs to raise £5000 to make this dream possible. The new shop promises to continue its great work and also launch creative workshops and have meeting/creative/workshop space available for the community to use.
The next Made with Hartt Market is on Saturday 24th January from 11am to 4pm at The Wedgewood Rooms. This is a monthly market usually on the last day of each month but January sees it one week early. Local artists, crafters and designers come together to showcase their work, take custom orders and raise awareness of their talents.
Find out more about the Community Fusion events HERE.