Coniston Stonecraft Has Teamed Up With Right2Work In Cumbria
Right2Work (which is part of the Oaklea Group) – teaches young people practical skills, including reupholstering, and how to repair broken furniture.
During a visit to its workshops in Kendal, Coniston Stonecraft‘s MD, Brendan Donnelly, – spotted an opportunity for a partnership, when he saw youngsters revamping old tables. He said: “I know from experience that a beautiful Westmorland green slate top can transform a tired old table into a real statement piece, – and I know that there’s customer demand for that kind of piece.”
“We’ve set up a partnership, whereby Right2Work will repurpose old table frames that they pick up, our skilled craftsmen will fit beautiful slate tops, and the tables will be sold to customers. Right-2-Work’s learners will be helping to put together professional products for commercial sale, – and the organisation will receive a cash benefit,” he added.
Whilst talking to Right2Work’s Regional Manager (Peter Bradbury), Brendan realised that the two organisations could form an eco-partnership. Peter pointed out that the foam his staff removes from furniture was ideal packing material for fragile slate gifts and signs being sent out from Stonecraft’s workshops on the slopes of Coniston Old Man.
At present, the foam is sent to landfill, – and Stonecraft uses cloth roll ends from a friendly Lancashire distributor, rather than plastic bubble-wrap, to pack its slate. Brendan said: “Now Right2Work is going to give us their foam for packing, and we are going to give them the roll ends to use as materials for cushions and upholstery, to help their learners develop skills. So, we’re helping a worthwhile charity – and we’re both helping the environment. Everyone wins!”
Right2Work’s Regional Manager, Peter Bradbury added: “This is yet another example of us working alongside local businesses for the good of the community. The collaboration with Stonecraft allows us to reduce our waste and help more people learn skills for their future work-lives.”
Brendan Donnelly turned the business around just 19 days before the first COVID-19 lockdown in March 2020, and he bought the long-standing slate company out of administration.