Tucked away in a corner of Beaumont Close is a gem of a furniture shop the people of Banbury are very lucky to have. Why? Because not only does it offer brilliant upcycled pieces, more importantly, it transforms people’s lives.
Second Time Around is a furniture restoration project for adults with learning disabilities that started as a small garage project and now fills every inch of the floorspace in the unit with vintage, shabby chic, painted and distressed pieces of furniture.
But the most significant part of this project – which in itself is a viable business – is those who make it happen. Because each week this busy location sees about 18 adults with various learning disabilities get the opportunity to learn and hone skills – creating invaluable work experience for those who are not as comfortable in a normal working environment.
Project leader Nathan Wallis said: “The furniture comes second. What’s unique about us is that we give opportunities to service users in a safe working environment.
“A great thing about this project is also that there’s a back story to the pieces; our customers can come down here and get to meet the person behind a piece before buying it.”
He added people are always welcome to pop down to the shop to learn more about the project. And it is clear Second Time Around is a hit with those who are the life and soul of it – the service users.
Dave Lucas, 55, said: “It’s nice to spend time with the guys and I really like sanding. It’s also nice to go out and see people and meet the customers. It makes me feel proud and I look forward to coming down here.”
For more information, go to secondtimearoundcharities.org, call 07826 873000 or find it on Facebook and Twitter.