Steffan Rees, a karate instructor from Ynyshir who worked with us for six months, realised that some children were not participating in his local classes because their families couldn’t afford the sports kit needed. He came up with the idea of recycling used kit (which often clutters cupboards!) locally and selling it at a fraction of the original cost, helping young people and adults to access sporting activities. Play It Again Sport (hosted by Welsh charity People & Work – www.peopleandwork.org.uk) was born in the summer of 2016. Porth Men’s Sheds built donation bins (which are located in every RCT leisure centre and many other places) and kit started to arrive. We had some initial seed corn funding from the Rank Foundation which helped with costs but initial sales were slow (when we were based in the middle of Porth).
People & Work was one of the founders of Stronger Rhondda Gryfach in 2014, a network of voluntary sector organisations in Rhondda seeking to play to each other’s strengths and to support local wellbeing. toogoodtowaste was also in this network from the beginning. What Play It Again Sport didn’t have was footfall: enough people seeing the sports kit and buying it! toogoodtowaste, however, is open every day of the week and attracts hundreds of people to its three locations. Following a chance conversation with Shaun England (TGTW’s CEO), we agreed a three month trial placement of Play It Again Sport in toogoodtowaste at Ynyshir from August 2017. We sold more in the first day than we used to sell in a week! The past 18 months have been brilliant! As well as hosting our kit and selling it for us (using bespoke barcoded price tags), toogoodtowaste tests their washing machines (before going on sale) by washing our kit!
toogoodtowaste has helped us understand the retail sector and been hugely supportive when we have been dealing with large amounts of nearly new or brand new stock – helping with the logistics and the selling, meaning that local people have a wide range of household goods and clothes to choose from in the three locations at affordable prices.
Any profit after costs from the sales of sports kit funds sports activities in Rhondda. For example, we have involved local school children in planning and delivering inter-schools sports days once a term for the last couple of years. As a local charity, we are looking to build on local skills, goodwill and the fact that so much sports kit is simply at the back of cupboards to build up fitness, involvement in sports clubs and to prevent sports kit going to landfill. Play It Again sport won the award for Outstanding Social Enterprise at last November’s Sustainable Academy Awards (http://www.cynnalcymru.com/2018-award-winners/).
People & Work (trading as Play It Again Sport) is delighted to be a part of such an exciting partnership.
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