Here at Abel & Cole, we love that spring is a time for new beginnings. Whether that’s our organic veg bursting into its best, or the biodiversity that surrounds our producers’ farms blooming back to life after winter. It’s also a great time to sit down with family and friends, and the anticipation of a home-cooked Easter roast with all the trimmings.
No one knows the importance of fresh starts, home and comfort quite like our friends at Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT). Based in East London, they support individuals recovering from addiction, providing a much-needed structure to their lives, as well as giving educational opportunities to learn new skills. From a sleeping bag to a healthy life, their wide range of support services help guide people through a series of steps which aim to build their prospects for lifelong recovery.
Part of this education is the Restoration Station; a not-for-profit workshop social enterprise within SCT. With a focus on upcycling and preventing many un-loved pieces of furniture going to landfill, the workshop gives its trainees the satisfaction of creative work and builds confidence by providing a space to engage with new people in their walk-in shop. This supports on-going recovery from addiction, helping to avoid relapse, while preparing people to move on into work for a sustainable future.
As part of this journey, the Restoration Station’s students have partnered with Abel & Cole to create a small run of beautiful hand-finished chopping boards made from responsibly sourced London plane and finished in linseed oil. Abel & Cole will donate £20 for each board purchased, to help SCT continue their vital support.
How did SCT come about?
Founded in 1965, Spitalfields Crypt Trust (SCT) ran a soup kitchen and night shelter for homeless alcoholic men from the crypt of Christ Church Spitalfields.
Today, more than 50 years later, we run an addiction treatment centre, personal development and training services for people in recovery alongside a number of social enterprises. One of which is our vintage furniture business, Restoration Station.
Overall, SCT helps people facing homelessness and drug and alcohol addiction in East London transform their lives for the better.
How was the Restoration Station founded within SCT?
The idea for Restoration Station came from a woodwork class, one of many activities that we offer at our Hub in Shoreditch - we finally opened our doors in December 2014!
Restoration Station aims to help people through their recovery from addiction by providing people the opportunity to learn about woodwork and restoring furniture. At the same time, they can enjoy reviving furniture and build their confidence. Restoration Station also offers a structure to their lives which supports their on-going recovery and prepares people to move on into paid work.
Who has helped enable you to make the Restoration Station a reality?
Everyone at SCT has been really committed to this project from the get go! We’ve had some incredible partnerships over the years – including collaborations with designer Yinka Ilori, Tate Britain and design collective, Something and Son. And the local craftspeople and volunteers training students have really been the spine of Restoration Station since we began. It’s been a real team effort.