Spotlight on The Re-Store, Morecambe
How would you describe the Re-Store in a line or two?
A social enterprise, restoring lives through creativity; producing beautiful and unique works of art that embody our local community, and supporting local artists.
We believe in helping people who are struggling to reach their full potential – giving experience in retail, art & craft development and AQA qualifications in creative subjects. We give people an opportunity to cultivate products for sale, whilst giving them a safe space to explore creativity as a therapeutic medium.
What was the inspiration behind starting the Re-Store?
Our inspiration is the people in this community.
We aim to be sustainable, whilst helping to improve the socio-economic status of Morecambe’s West End through equitable regeneration one step at a time.
This area of Morecambe is one of the most deprived areas in the UK. We recognise each person who is referred to us as the individual they are and provide support to gain the independence they need, whether this be to return to a place of work or education or be able to overcome mental health struggles and manage disabilities.
Since the Re-Store opened on Yorkshire Street, we have watched the street come back to life. There are art galleries, a ceramics shop, vintage clothing store, eateries, barbers, charity shops etc. We are inspired by being part of Yorkshire Street – the forgotten cultural quarter of Morecambe, with so much history and potential for revival. There is certainly something brewing in this area, noticeable as we not only help those in the shop but actively support our community.
What was the Re-Store like in the early days?
We started off as an art group. We developed lovely products and sold them in the window at West End Impact on Heysham Road.
We started very small, with an ‘artist of the month’ to recognise local artists who’d share their skills and knowledge with the group. We then got an idea for what items people like to buy.
Since then, we have brought in more artists and developed our educational code, our website, and social media outreach. We collaborate with local agencies and offer AQA qualification opportunities.
How has the Re-Store evolved over the years?
We have got so much better at our shop displays and how we organise the shop layout. We learnt on the job. We never stop learning. We now have a great network of artists, and we try to have one artist for each discipline to work with, both teaching our clients or giving them a place to sell their own work.
We have also learnt to sell ourselves more and make people aware of where we are and what we do. We have had a few tourists visit the shop more recently, since we were on the news regarding the passing of ‘the Bird Man’, a gentleman who we worked with over many years.
We now have two shops on Yorkshire Street: The Re-Store and The Re-Storation.
The Re-Storation is our furniture shop. Working the same way as the Re-Store, we support clients who want to learn how to restore antique furniture and learn skills including French polishing and carpentry. We also work on commissioned projects to give furniture a new lease of life. Items of furniture are then available to purchase in the shop.
The Re-Store is a safe space for people to come and express themselves. Some come with their PA or carer and it’s a caring environment for everyone, whatever their past, present or future. People find a way to explore creativity without any pressure and stay for as long as they like.
What are you most excited about in the months and years ahead?
Seeing people move forward. We are all about creativity, but our ultimate passion is to see change in people through creativity.
We are also working on an exciting range of workshops, including new projects and ways to positively challenge our clients and ourselves.
We will also be taking part in the local craft and vintage fairs throughout the year, so keep an eye out for our stalls!
Finally, we are excited to see Yorkshire Street develop into a thriving sea-side street and to be part of that change.
What’s the most unusual and/or most interesting item you sell?
Our Because There is Hope book. When you buy at the Re-Store you are helping support the other services we provide as a charity at West End Impact.
West End Impact’s first publication is available to purchase from the Re-Store. The book shares the stories of 20 individuals whose lives have been changed in some way by the work the charity does, complemented with 20 unique pieces of artwork produced by local artists inspired by each story. Because there is Hope was printed to commemorate the charity turning 20 years old!
Amongst all our wonderful handmade gifts and artwork, the reason this item is one of the most interesting available in the shop is because it contains true, heart-warming and life changing stories from local people, including clients for the Re-Store. It is the most real and personal item you can purchase and gives insight into the incredible work West End Impact has done and continues to do.
Open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm
Follow the Re-Store and West End Impact on social media to see what they’re up to!