Social Enterprises

Everyone has something to give and we are passionate about creating innovative opportunities for all.

Volunteer preparing furniture for sale in one of our furniture shops

Social enterprise is broadly defined as a company that is working, through trade, to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, or the environment. Money is made from selling goods and services in the open market, and profits are invested back into the business or the local community. When a social enterprise profits, then so does society!

At The Trussell Trust, we run a range of social enterprise projects. Supported by a small staff team, the projects rely on volunteers to operate. Many of the volunteers are on a journey back into work, gaining valuable experience and building confidence. We also offer opportunities for supported volunteers to be part of our teams.

Profits are reinvested into the projects themselves and used to help offset The Trussell Trust’s core costs.

Our social enterprise projects currently include:

  • 11 community shops, two of which are dedicated furniture shops across Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire
  • Upcycling projects, turning household objects into low-cost items and preventing landfill
  • Furniture restoration and upcycling
  • Beading classes – where new jewellery is made from old pieces and resold
  • Community garden, producing delicious fruit and vegetables for the local community, as well as being an outdoor classroom for local school children from Woodlands Primary School
  • Online stores: Amazon, Ebay, Etsy and Music Magpie
  • Bobbin stripping in partnership with a local carpet manufacturer, who buy back the stripped bobbins for repeat use
  • Bicycle repair partnering with Rise:61


Some highlights…


11 Shops

of which two are dedicated furniture shops


550 volunteers

help with the day to day activities in all our projects


4,000 tonnes

of carbon dioxide emissions reduction as a result of our recycling efforts



electrical items recycled

Lucie’s Story

“Coming to The Trussell Trust’s charity shop saved my life.”
– Lucie, Salisbury

Lucie, came to our shop in Salisbury severely depressed and ready to end it all. After sitting with our shop manager and talking things through she rang the next day to say that the conversation had saved her life.

Lucie is just one of the many people who we have helped to turn their lives around simply by listening and showing that we care. This is why valuing people as individuals is a priority in all our social enterprises.