We're thrilled to introduce our new Trustee, Mariam Dee, who has been kind enough to share her thoughts on the Scrapstore and it's place in the Arts.
Is Work and Play Scrapstore at the Centre of the Creative Arts Industry?
Having provided capacity building support to charitable re-use organisations in the United Kingdom for almost a decade, I’m an advocate of the inclusive benefits of re-use. Since joining the board of Work and Play Scrapstore as a Trustee, I have enriched my understanding of the significance of re-use across a range of themes. Work and Play Scrapstore aims to provide re-use services to advance education, in particular by the distribution of donated materials to schools and other charitable institutions established for educational purposes with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of waste.
The organisation identifies, collects, processes and makes available to members, clean reusable materials from local industries and domestic donators to enable individual members and their groups within a multicultural community to investigate and develop their own creativity. There is a broad range of members including: Nurseries, Schools or Colleges; Community organisations or Umbrella Groups; and Students, families or individuals. Interestingly, the impacts of the re-use services to members is measurable in terms of tonnages diverted away from landfill, jobs created, volunteering opportunities provided and economic savings to members.
On the other hand, the core beneficiaries of the re-use services rendered by the Scrapstore are the end-users. End-users do not normally visit the centre but use the materials provided by the Scrapstore to members such as schools, to enhance their imaginations for educational, artistic, play, creative, social or therapeutic activities. However, the impacts to end-users by enhancing human imaginations may not be directly measurable by the Scrapstore. This difficulty in measuring the impacts of creative arts is sometimes a challenge as discussed in Brian Eno’s BBC Music John Peel Lecture, 2015.
However, this challenge should never undermine the unique place of creative arts in the ecosystem. As summarised by Brain Eno during his lecture, “Arts is at the centre of everything that we do”. This assessment shows the similarity in the services of the Scrapstore as not only enhancing material re-use but most importantly being at the centre of the creative arts industry with firm roots in environmental, educational, community cohesion and volunteering.
Therefore, it is worth encouraging situations that make creative arts flourish such as the re-use services of the Scrapstore because it delivers multiple benefits across a range of themes. I look forward to my journey as a Trustee supporting the growth and development of the Work and Play Scrapstore. After all as stated by Brian Eno “children learn through play but adults play through Arts!”
About the Author: Mariam is a Social Enterprise Adviser within the waste and resource efficiency sector. She currently works for Ricardo Energy and Environment across a range of materials and activities including research and evaluation, social business support and policy development. She joined the board as a Trustee of the Work and Play Scrapstore in 2015.