Crest

An evolving recycling-themed charity that has stayed true to its original ethos of supporting and working with disadvantaged people in their community.

126 t
Est. annual reduction in carbon
emissions (tonnes CO2 eq)

9,822
Est. number of people
who benefit directly

Our story

Crest is a local charity reclaiming and reconditioning pre-loved items for the benefit of the community. We sell these items through our shops, which provide employment in the local area. Our story began with providing opportunities for people who could use some extra support developing their employment skills. We have changed over the years to reflect and evolve with our local community networks and environmental ethos.

Our core values are:
• Working as part of the local community
• Providing friendly and accessible services
• Aiming for sustainability
• Committing to quality/best practice delivery

We established as a social enterprise in 1998, developed from a project run by Scope. The project started as a community cooperative to provide opportunities to help disabled and unemployed people to increase their skills and gain employment.

Three years later we became a “Not-for-Profit Limited Company”, and successfully bid for another lottery grant which meant we could develop new vocational courses. These allowed us to offer life skills and work experience to people in the community who are socially excluded. We established two community businesses where we could deliver this training.

Recycling services came later and, when Wales made recycling mandatory through legislation, we developed three new recycling-themed enterprises. These helped in our goal to become a self-sustaining social enterprise while not losing our original ethos of supporting and working with disadvantaged people in our community. In 2020 we gained charitable status.

There are ways for everyone to support Crest and the local community. One of these is buying pre-loved items from our shops. These include:

• Clothing, shoes, accessories
• Toys, games and 'Bric-a-Brac'
• Pre-loved furniture, white goods and more
• Books, DVDs, CDs, instruments

People can also contribute by donating their pre-loved items, and by joining us as a volunteer. We couldn't do everything we do without the help of our wonderful volunteer team.

by John Harper, Crest

Our advice

  • We have taken opportunities as they have arisen. Our shape has changed a lot due to successful bids for grants, and noticing that recycling was a growing industry that could work well for us and our ethos.
  • You don't have to set out to do everything at once. We started out with community ambitions, and took on an environmental cause later. It's taken a couple of decades to reach where we are now, and we have achieved so much.

Our metrics

  • People we work with – volunteers, employees, people supported with skills and training. Amount of donations and items sold.

Read more: https://www.crestcooperative.co.uk/about-us/

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