Social enterprise is broadly defined as a company that is working through trade to tackle social problems, improve communities, people’s life chances, the environment, and create employment opportunities. At our social enterprise, money is made from selling second-hand goods and services in the open market. Profits raised are invested back into our primary purpose of ending hunger and poverty in the UK.
Through our community shops, we do more than simply offer affordable goods for people on low incomes; we create volunteering opportunities for all and get them involved in local community projects. Our shops can also serve as a collection point for emergency food and can offer signposting guidance to people in crisis to enable them to access the support they need through a local food bank.
At the Trussell Trust Social Enterprise, we have 12 shops and a warehouse run by a small staff team and a large team of amazing volunteers. Many of our 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, all of who make our social enterprise a fun and rewarding place to be.
Our shops are designed to do more than just raise funds. Each shop aims to become a hub of the local community.
Our social enterprise projects currently include:
- 10 community shops, two of which are dedicated furniture shops across Wiltshire, Dorset and Hampshire
- Two online shops – Ebay and Depop
- One warehouse
- Our fortnightly market – ran by a passionate and dedicated team of volunteers
- Recycling useable textiles to make masks to sell in our shops
- Our unsaleable textiles salvage, bric-a-brac, and metal are recycled generating a further income –please see the great ways they are recycled
- Unsaleable books, CDs and DVDs are sold through Music Magpie and Ziffitt to raise further funds.
‘‘The Trussell Trust shop is so much more than a charity shop: it gives me a reason to get up in the morning.” – Volunteer
Pat – A Trussell Trust Social Enterprise volunteer
Pat has volunteered at the Trussell Trust’s Catherine Street shop in Salisbury since 2017. After her husband passed away, Pat was looking for something she could do that could make a difference in her local community. She heard about the volunteering opportunity with the Trussell Trust – and the rest is history!
Today Pat supports the team by manning the till, overseeing donations, and helping with displays and provides excellent customer service. Customers of all ages love to chat to her and she enjoys meeting such a wide variety of people. Pat’s knowledge of Salisbury also comes in useful with all the tourists that come into the shop!
She’s a great ambassador for new volunteers, as well as a big asset to the team, and her confidence has grown enormously throughout her time as a volunteer.
The shop team hugely value her friendly, happy outlook, as well as her reliability and commitment. For Pat, volunteering twice a week keeps her active and gives her purpose – she says “I don’t know what I’d do without it.”
At the Trussell Trust we know just how valuable our volunteers are, and people like Pat are a vital part of our work.