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Partnering with the Birmingham PlayCare Network

Lee Longlands are keen to find ways to be more eco-friendly and are always up for supporting a good cause. So, what could be better than combining the two?

Ever happy to go that extra mile, our distribution team have been partnering with the Scrapstore, part of the Birmingham PlayCare Network (BPCN).

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The Birmingham Play Network

Set up in 1995, the Birmingham Play Network repurposes unwanted materials that have been donated by businesses and individuals across Birmingham, redistributing them to out-of-school providers, schools and community groups. The Play Network’s fantastic work improves children’s lives by providing schools with a wide range of materials that they would not otherwise be able to afford.

By doing this, the BPCN helps businesses to reduce waste, save the environment and make inroads into their local community, while also supporting out-of-school providers, schools and community groups to save money and access high quality materials.

Donated materials include fabric, packaging, off-cuts, stationery, card, foam, tubes and much more.

In addition, teachers are trained to unlock children’s imaginations by showing them how to use the materials to their full potential.

Schools involved can set up a Let’s Play unit in the playground – an outside structure where children can play with the materials at their own pace at break times and lunch times. The units are fitted with larger materials such as our Lee Longlands tubes and old builders’ hats.

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Scrapstore

The BPCN also has two Scrapstores which are open to everyone in the community.

The Scrapstores support and help to fund the Play Network by selling donations, both from individuals and from companies such as Lee Longlands. Everything donated is saved from being put into landfill, helping to save the environment.

They have 6 part time staff as well as a selection of volunteers. Many are young people with learning difficulties, and the network is proud to provide an opportunity for them to build their confidence in a creative space. Other volunteers have come from local universities on placements to grow their skillset.

You can find out more about the Scrapstore and their fantastic work on the BPCN website.

What do they stock?

The Play Network stocks wool, material, foam, cardboard, thread and much more. These items have a suggested donation price and are more affordable than craft shops.

At their Yardley site there is a larger amount of stock with a different pricing system: grab a bin bag and fill it for just £10! This is ideal for students, theatre productions, fancy dress costumes or just some family home crafts over the school holidays.

How Lee Longlands help

Lee Longlands donate items such as our inner tubes, seat pads, carpet samples, damaged stock and packaging. This has all been donated to the schools for larger activities such as building dens. Smaller items are used to make things like bird boxes.

Who can donate?

Anyone can donate, not just companies like ours!

All that matters is that the donations are clean and have had no contact with food, chemicals or paint.

The team love unusual items that many people wouldn’t expect to be reusable. When we stopped by for a visit, a huge box of rusty old keys was one of their more intriguing finds.

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If you have stock to donate, it can be dropped off at either of the locations or collected for free.

Find them on social media:

 Twitter – @ScrapstoreBrum

Facebook – @BirminghamScrapStore

Instagram – scrapstorebirmingham

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Where’s my nearest Scrapstore?

The BPCN have two Scrapstores, where anyone is welcome to visit.

Jewellery Quarter site

The Jewellery Quarter site is open Tuesdays from 11am till 4pm.

60 Frederick Street
Birmingham
B1 3HS

Yardley

The Yardley site is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11am till 4pm and on Fridays from 11am till 2pm.

Unit 6
Swan Courtyard
Birmingham
B26 1BU

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