Volunteer Week

05/06/2015 Return to news archive

It's National Volunteer Week and across the UK people are taking part in various voluntary ventures. Volunteering offers the chance to give something back to the community and make a difference to people around them. A great way to change and improve your local environment is to brighten up a building or two with a lick of paint.

Every day there are groups across the UK doing just that - by making the most of the low-cost paint available through Community RePaint the UK’s paint reuse network.

One such scheme is in the West Midlands; Community RePaint Black Country is hosted by The Schools and Community Arts Resource Facility (SCARF) and run by volunteers. This innovative arts resource facility supplies quality art and craft resources to the community, which have been sourced from the waste products of local businesses. These materials have been saved from being thrown away and are being reused.

A partnership approach helped put new life back into the Newhampton Arts Centre (NAC), a charity that offers creative opportunities to the local community in Wolverhampton. Community RePaint Black Country provided volunteer group, Friends of NAC, with 45 litres of emulsion, undercoat and gloss paint to give the premises a much needed lift. Staff volunteers from Midcounties Co-operative joined together with the ‘Friends’, to give their time to redecorate the NAC.

Amanda Bevan from Friends of NAC and Women of Wolverhampton said “Isn’t it fantastic how something as simple as paint can bring together the people, charities, a national company and social enterprises of a community together?”

Volunteers from the Midcounties Co-operative turn the Newhampton Arts Centre into a welcoming community space

Friends of NAC having completed their project using paint supplied by Community RePaint Black Country

 “By re-using paint to support volunteers and their projects Community RePaint can help to bring a splash of colour to communities across the country,” said Community RePaint Network Manager, Martin Pearse. “Purchasing paint for your project at a significantly reduced price means your funds go further, and you’re helping to protect the planet by preventing perfectly good paint from ending up in landfill or heat treatment.”

Community RePaint is a network of more than 75 schemes that collect surplus, reusable paint and re-distribute it to individuals, families and communities in need, improving the wellbeing of people and the appearance of places across the UK.

In 2014, householders, traders and paint manufacturers donated 446,650 litres of leftover paint to Community RePaint schemes, which then distributed 302,256 litres to community groups and individuals. Many of the schemes rely on volunteers to help with the running of their organisations and projects; 508 volunteers support the Community RePaint network.

If your community hall, sports centre or project needs paint, or if you are a family or individual on a low income, get in touch with your nearest Community RePaint scheme by clicking on: http://www.communityrepaint.org.uk/need-paint/ and entering your postcode or call: 0845 180 0501 for more information.