‘Takeover’ sought for scrap materials charity

A Reepham-based charity that aims to maximise reuse and minimise waste is looking for a new organisation that will carry the torch of reuse forward.

Jim Elliott of Mini-Scrapbox

As one of around 100 scrap-stores in the UK and the only one in Norfolk, Mini-Scrapbox has played a role in Reepham’s community environmental ethos.
Back in 1995 some of the industrial units on Collers Way did not have tenants and the Norfolk County Council Scrapbox waste minimisation project at The Pineapple in Trowse was closing down.
So Jim Elliott and some of his friends formed a charitable trust – Mini-Scrapbox – to carry on the project with the aim of educating people about the reuse of commercial and industrial “waste”.
“We have done this through collecting valuable community resources and selling them to members for their own use in schools, in pre-schools and in youth clubs, etc.,” said Mr Elliott.
“The resources can be faulty goods, returns or stock surplus to requirements, from Modroc to material, from haberdashery to handicraft-related items and from wool to wallpaper books. More than 300 members join annually, so we reckon there are thousands of beneficiaries of what we do.”
Since its inception Mini-Scrapbox has been run by unpaid volunteers and been successful in winning lottery funding and other grants.
The County Council and the government currently have no requirement through European Union Landfill Directives to maximise the life of commercial and industrial waste, Mr Elliott pointed out: “Our planet has scarce resources; scrap-stores address this problem.”
Now after 20 years Mr Elliott is hoping a new social enterprise or community interest company can take over from the existing trustees.
The main requirements are:

  • having a manager to liaise with donor businesses, manage the finances and other volunteers, and write applications for grants;
  • having someone to drive a van, mainly around Norfolk, reacting to calls from donors, and sometimes venturing nationally for swaps and networking with other scrap-stores;
  • a team of committed volunteers to sort out the donations, price them and restock shelves, and man the till; these would ideally be people living in Reepham who could walk to Collers Way and be flexible about their time commitment;
  • between them to give 60-80 hours of time per week.

“We realise this might not be how the project is run in the future, but hope our foundation might be used to further Reepham’s green spirit,” said Mr Elliott. “And we are committed to remaining open throughout 2015.”

  • For further information or to discuss how to get involved, contact Jim Elliott, Mini-Scrapbox, Units 5 & 6 Collers Way, Wood Dalling Road, Reepham, Norfolk NR10 4SW. Tel: 01603 873128. Email: jim.scrapbox@btconnect.com
  • Mini-Scrapbox is open 3 – 7 pm on Wednesday and 10 am – 2 pm on Saturday (closed in August). It costs £8 a year to join; members then pay affordable amounts for the chosen materials.


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