With Government cut backs hitting hard on everyone from small business to families, charities feel the crunch too. One charity based in Shoreditch, East London is hitting back with a set of social enterprises, including Paper and Cup.
An East London charity which has been running since the 1960’s, Shoreditch Crypt Trust puts homeless, recovering addicts back into work through providing housing and work schemes. Now one of the trendiest, young art scenes in the UK, Shoreditch is where they remain, nestled among the sprawling street art and overpriced bars and restaurants. So how does a long standing charity fit in the new, gentrified environment?
The neighbourhood is bursting at the seams with cafes and P&C fits right in, with second hand books, limited edition mugs and various highly priced pastries for sale. The vintage decorations are also very ‘hipster,’ and the shop gets especially busy on weekends. They have also run a stall at the East London Design Show this year, selling upholstered furniture pieces and artworks made by the young adults in one of the practical courses the charity runs.
Paper and Cup also hold exhibitions, with all proceeds going back into providing training, housing and mentoring. While they do get donations and fiscal assistance from a variety of places, it is the coffee shop and art and design related projects which really keep it going.
Having celebrated its first birthday this past September, Paper and Cup has already won an Innovation award at the prestigious Lunch Business Grab & Go Awards and has partnered with Pret A Manger, which offers a 12 week training scheme gives apprentices experience in their kitchens and shop floors with a possibility of a full-time job at the end.
A truly modern, innovative and stylish way of making money, perhaps more charities worldwide should try and emulate SCT.
Local charity New Hanbury Project - a part of the Shoreditch Crypt Trust - held their winter exhibition last night. On Calvert Avenue, right of Shoreditch High Street, the prime location welcomed friends and newcomers alike, as music blared and food was nibbled.
On show were paintings by a dozen of the students, each one pursuing their own visual language on canvas. With some portraiture, most artists revealed a preference to abstraction, creating an exciting visual around the small room.
The artists are all recovering addicts who are learning new skills, preparing them for a new, independent life. There is certainly something therapeutic about art making and getting a creative release to emotions.
Overall, an excellent show, it was only up for one night... but stay posted, as spring of 2014 sees more shows and collaborations with local street artists too!
Click here to see more photos from the event (and to follow JJ on Instagram)
Photos courtesy of Paper and Cup and Karen Shidlo